Transplanting A Rose
As with most rose gardening timing if of utmost importance. The best time to transplant your rose is in the fall, winter or early spring. Your plant is dormant then and won’t be as stressed by the move. It will also be less work since you won’t have to be as diligent to ensure a steady supply of water to your dormant rose. If your winter weather is harsh simply wait until the ground has thawed to relocate your rose.
Don’t worry about pruning or cutting back your rose unless it’s too large for you to move. Then only prune the plant as needed to make it a more manageable size. Roses need their upper growth to take in sun and nutrients to generate new roots. Cutting off too much growth will only stress the plant further and slow new root development.
Next you’ll want to prepare your flowerbed before moving your rose to it’s new location. The less time your rose is out of the ground the better. You want to dig up as large of a root ball as you can possibly move. Pruners can be helpful to cut the roots rather than trying to chop them with a shovel. Plastic tarps are great for moving large root balls. You can sit the newly dug root ball onto the tarp and then drag it to the new planting location. Ensure your rose’s root ball is kept moist while exposed and not placed in the sun. This can cause root damage.
If, despite your careful handling, the rose’s root ball falls apart during the move, don’t worry. Prepare your planting hole with a small, cone shaped mound of dirt at the bottom. You can then spread the rose’s roots across the fresh mound of dirt. Roots generally grow horizontally rather than vertically so spread the roots out to the sides of the planting hole rather than straight down. Ensure your rose is planted at the correct height, with the bud union at the soil line. Now back fill your planting hole.
If you haven’t transplanted your rose while dormant water is going to be very important. If the weather is hot you’ll need to water your rose thoroughly almost everyday for about two weeks. Then you can slowly taper off to a regular watering schedule. Transplanting your rose while dormant is simpler, just try to keep the soil relatively moist during the winter and not soaked. Pay a bit of extra attention to watering your rose in the spring, but it should be just fine. You’ll also want to make sure you’ve applied a fresh layer of mulch, no matter when you transplant.
If done correctly transplanting a rose can easily be a success. Many gardeners stress over the move, but if a rose is growing in an unsuitable location it will never develop to its full potential. Once moved your rose will be much happier and healthier for years to come.
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