2 Ways to Safely Transplant Rose Bushes of Any Age

You will occasionally want to move a rose bush from one

location to another, but fear shocking the bush too much and

having it die. However, here are two effective ways to

minimize the shock to the bush so you can successfully move

it to another, more suitable place in your flower garden.

The first, and simpler way, is by driving a spade down

vertically to its full length of blade about twelve or

fifteen inches from the bush and repeating the process in a

circular form until all lateral roots have been cut. This

should be done in June or early July and the bush should be

moved two or three weeks later.

Dig a sloping hole leading to the vertical spade-cuts on one

side, remove some of the surface soil round the bush to

reduce weight, drive the spade under the plant, and gently

lift it in a ball of earth. The ball can be made more

adherent by wetting and dabbing the outside of it. Slide it

into its new hole by way of another sloping cut, fill the

spaces round the ball with friable soil and water it

heavily. The bush must be pruned and all leaves carefully

clipped off to reduce loss of moisture and consequent


You see, by cutting any strong root at a reasonable distance

from a plant, it forces the growth of many smaller ones of

the feeding type. Roots feed only through their terminal

points, and so the greater the number of small fibrous roots

the better a bush can feed from the soil.

The second, and less simple way, is to prepare the rose for

the move by digging a trench in early spring in a semicircle

round the bush at a radius of a foot, or slightly more, from

the stem, depending on the size of the plant. This will cut

the roots in that part. Fill the trench with loam that is of

good quality but does not contain fermenting manure of any

type. A network of fibrous secondary roots will form and

permeate the rich new soil. After three months, about

Christmas time, complete the circle in a similar manner. In

the autumn, about four months later, the bush can be lifted

with a good ball of earth held together by a mass of fibrous


The rose bush has been safely root-pruned in either method

of transplanting, and will reduce shock ensuring the plants

survival. You may be wondering why you would need to use

that second, more involved method, when the first method is

so simple. Well, the only time it is necessary is when

moving a very large old rose plant.

So now you have 2 great methods for successfully

transplanting rose bushes. Although you don’t want to do it

very often, feel free to get your flower garden just the way

you want it! Happy planting.