You could transplant rose bushes if you don’t really like where they are positioned. It could be just that you want to transfer the beautiful look to another spot in your home. Whichever the case might be, your roses may be negatively affected if you do not follow the right steps during transplanting.Transplant Bush Roses

This article was compiled to help you avoid that by guiding you through every step that you should take.

How to Transplant Rose Bushes: Easy Steps?

To transplant rose bushes in easy steps you should select a weedless spot with a well-draining soil for your plant. Prepare the plant by pruning it to reduce chances of transplant shock. You can then move the plant to its new habitat before engaging in proper care procedures.

1. Take the Necessary Precautions

Do everything possible to increase the chances that your rose will survive after moving it. For instance, when transplanting rose bushes while they are still dormant, avoid doing this when it’s still frosty. Make sure frost threats have passed before you can initialize the move.

Another important aspect to consider in selecting the right spot for your plant. Ideally, choose a spot that is void of weeds and other plants that might disturb the growth of your beauty. Generally, roses are loners―they do better when they are grown away from many other plants. However, there is no harm  in moving one rose type to a corner in your home garden where there are different other types of roses as these species can co-survive.

If your preferred location for your rose has weeds, use a garden fork to remove them. Also, ensure that the spot you have chosen is accessible to full sunlight, to enhance the growth of your plant.

2. Make Sure the Soil is Well-Draining

The soil type on the prospective new location should be well-draining. Otherwise, your bush rose might sit in waterlogged conditions, and they become prone to root rot and other moisture-related microbial infections. Therefore, we recommend that you test the new spot’s soil before you start moving your plant.Healthy Well Drained Soil

To determine if the soil is well-draining, dig a hole whose depth ranges between 12 and 18 inches. Use the same dimensions for the width of the hole. Fill the hole with water  and take your time to observe what happens. Ideally, the water should drain out in less than an hour. If that’s not the case, then the soil on the selected spot does not drain well enough to allow for the healthy survival of your bush rose.

If you have noticed that the soil’s drainage capacity is poor, you can leave the spot for another one. Alternatively, you can add organic matter to loosen the structure. Microorganisms in the compost will create air pockets that allow for better aerations and drainage.

3. Prepare Your Rose Bush

Irrespective of whether you are transplanting your rose bush while it’s active or dormant, pruning your plant is a vital step. Trim down the taller canes on your plant to reduce its size to approximately 12 inches.This will make the plant easier to handle.Rose Companion Plants

Also cut off any dead parts as this does not only make the plant look disorderly, it delays the plant’s recovery after transplanting it. Cutting off the extra foliage assists your plant to redirect its energy toward root development and establishing itself in its new location.

You also need to be careful not to facilitate disease transmission to your plant at this point because it will be quite vulnerable. Therefore, be sure to sterilize all the equipment that you use by rubbing 70 percent isopropyl alcohol on their surfaces, if you don’t prefer dipping them in this solvent.

If you are going for “non-dormant” transplanting, you can nourish your plant with a transplanting fertilizer, especially the liquid B1 type. This fertilizer will make it easier for your beauty to adjust to the change of location. Transplanting during the season when the rose is actively growing will also require you to deeply water the rise prior to the transplantation procedure. This keeps the plant hydrated enough to reduce the severity of a possible transplant shock.

4. Create a New Hole for Your Plant

If during the “drainage test” procedure you found out that the soil on the new location is well-draining, then this step will be relatively easier to complete because you would have done part of the digging already. However, the hole that you should prepare for your plant should be 15 inches deep. The recommended width is 12 inches, though  this might also depend on the size of your rose bush’s root ball. Use the garden trowel to create a hole with these dimensions.Growing Beautiful Bush Roses

Remember to have your gloves on when you dig the hole. The garden tool might hurt you if you don’t.

Using the same garden trowel, create a small mound of soil at the center of the hole that you dug. The soil mound should not be more than two inches high and it’s meant to create a resting place for the rose bush when you finally put it into the hole. Remember to form the mound by patting the soil in a gentle manner.

5. Prepare the Soil

Add potting soil, mulch, and peat moss into a wheelbarrow or big bucket. Mix thoroughly as this is the mix that you will add to the hole that you prepared for your plant. Both peat moss and mulch give the soil some moisture-retaining capability.

Peat moss also provides various nutrients that your bush roses will certainly need. This soil component also has the ability to balance pH in the soil, thereby helping your plant to grow in more conducive conditions.

6. Remove the Rose Bush From Its Original Position

Begin to remove the soil around the stem of your rose bush using a garden trowel. Go deeper as you go, until you have completely exposed the root ball. Dig a little more to create a space under the root ball so that you can loosen the attachment between the roots and the soil. Aim to lessen the damage on the root ball as much as possible, so that you take as many roots as possible with you.

Carefully lift the root ball out of the soil using the trowel. Carry the rose plant to the new spot. If it’s too heavy, consider placing it on a tarp and then drag it to the new location. See if there is a need to adjust the size of the hole that you prepared for your plant, based on how big the root ball is.

7. Place Your Plant in Its New Home

Carefully lower the rose bush into its hole and make sure it sits on the mound that you created. First, add the soil that you prepared in step 5 so that it is close to the rootball. Add more soil so that it fills the hole up to halfway.

Using a watering can, add water into the hole, until the soil that you added is soaked. Allow the water to drain through the soil for about five minutes. If you notice that the water is still lurking on the surface of the soil, just give it more time to drain.

Add more of the soil mixture to the hole until it is filled. Tamp the soil a little bit to make it firmer. Pour an inch of water onto the soil and allow it to go down. Be sure to give the plant the same amount of the drink every week but refrain from doing so after heavy rains.

8. Engage in After-Care

Lay out some mulch around your plant to prevent excessive moisture loss. Adding mulch is also a weed- control strategy. We recommend that you refrain from fertilizing your plant before you see new growth. After that, you can feed your rose bushes with a fertilizer that is specifically made for roses.Care Guide for Bush Roses

Ensure that your rose is positioned in such a way that it will receive between six and eight hours of sunlight every day. If the climate around where you stay is too hot, put together strategies for protecting your plant from the harsh afternoon sun. Temperatures between 40 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for the healthy survival of your roses after transplanting. In some cases, going up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit is also good.

Generally, roses are humidity lovers, especially ranges between 60 to 70 percent. We also recommend that you keep an eye for pests that attack your plant. Good examples include spider mites, aphids, sawflies, Japanese beetles, budworms, and thrips. Keep organic insecticides such as Neem oil handy in case of any infestations or you could also use rubbing alcohol.


You have just learned various nuggets on how to move a rose bush without killing it. Let’s go through some of the ideas that you should know like the back of your hand:

  • Identify a location that is good for your plant and ensure that the soil there is well-draining by testing it.
  • Prepare your rose bush by pruning it and if you intend to transplant during the summer, add a transplanting fertilizer like liquid B1 to keep severe effects of transplant shock at bay.
  • Prepare the new hole for your plant, making sure that the root ball will fit well and then create a mound at the center of its bottom.
  • Carefully dig out the rose bush from its original position, making sure that the root ball has as many roots as possible.
  • Transport the plant to the new location, place it in the new hole that you prepared, and cover the root ball with tea nutritional, well-draining mix that you prepared.

This completes the theoretical session for learning how to dig up a rose bush and plant it in another location. It’s time for the practical session, so get down to work and properly transplant your rose bush!

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