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When Is the Best Time to Move Rose Bushes?

Roses are sturdy perennial plants in the plant family Roseacea, genus Rosa. There are more than 15,000 different species, varieties and hybrid roses cultivated around the world. In 1996, President Regan signed legislation that honored the rose as the United States National Flower. For healthy growth, roses require regular maintenance such as pruning and mulching. With proper care, you can transplant roses any time of the year.

  1. Prune

    • Roses are symbolic of affection, love and loyalty.

      Prune roses prior to transplant, removing dead canes, unsightly growth and dead leaves. Use clean, sharp garden pruning shears to make sharp, slanted cuts. Wear long, leather protective gloves to avoid being scratched by the thorns. Prune two to three weeks prior to transplanting to allow the rosebush time to heal and seal over the pruning cuts.


    • Roses require one to two inches of water per week.

      Roses need lots of water to survive the shock of transplanting. No matter how careful you are, a few of the roots will be damaged during the move. Damaged roots cannot absorb water as effectively as undamaged roots, so make sure the rose is well hydrated prior to digging it out of the soil. Water the day before so soil is well moistened but not muddy.

    Dig the Root Ball

    • Dig out a large area around the root ball.

      When digging up a rosebush for transplant, remove as large a root ball as you can. Your rose will adapt to its new location if the roots are damaged as little as possible and you transport as much of the soil from the old location as feasible.

    Act Quickly

    • Roses benefit from an application of diluted fish emulsion once a month.

      Prepare the new planting hole for the rose prior to digging out the plant from its present location. In order to cause the least amount of shock and damage to the rose, it should be out of the ground for as little time as possible. Soak the new location well with water prior to placing the root ball in the soil. Add water, between soil additions, to prevent air pockets around the roots. It's best to transplant roses late in the afternoon; this allows them a chance to acclimate to their new location before they are exposed to the hot summer sun.