Transplant a rose bush

When Is the Best Time to Transplant Trees? (Pine, Oak, Maple and Fruit)

Have you ever stared at one of your trees and thought, “This would look so much better over there!”?

Whether it’s because it’s outgrown its home or would just look better in a different one, sometimes we have to move our trees.

This was the case for Davey blog reader Dan from Michigan. He asked, “We would like to move a tree about 50 feet on our property. Not sure if moving in early November is still a good time to do so this fall? We would appreciate a professional opinion.”

To answer Dan’s question—it depends! While there’s a general time to uproot during the year, the best time is determined by your tree species.

Plan to Transplant Pine, Oak, Maple or Fruit Trees When Dormant

Just like pruning, the best time of year to transplant a tree is when it’s dormant in spring or fall. In fall, transplant before the first frost. In spring, plan to relocate before the tree starts sprouting.

Why transplant trees when they’re dormant?

All year, trees depend on their roots to funnel water through their branches to feed their canopy. If you were to dig up your tree and transplant it when it’s full of leaves and fruit, you’d cut off its steady flow of water. Then, the tree would suffer from transplant shock and struggle to establish in its new home.

On the flip side, dormant trees aren’t nearly as affected by transplanting. Because they’ve already lost their leaves and fruit, the tree doesn’t rely on its water source as much. Plus, moving the plant when it’s dormant will give it time to establish roots and build up nutrients before the start of the next growing season.

Should I transplant trees in winter then?

While you want your tree to be dormant, you don’t want to transplant trees during winter. You risk root damage when there’s frost in the soil. Plus, the ground is often frozen, making the whole process much more difficult!

Should all trees be transplanted in the dormant season? What about pine, oak, maple and fruit trees?

All trees should be moved during that spring or fall time frame, but finding just the right window depends on the tree type. Here’s the breakdown:

When is the best time to transplant…

  • Pine or evergreen trees? Shoot for early fall.
  • Oak trees? Plan to transplant in early spring. February or March is an ideal time, or choose a window that’s right before spring budding in your area.
  • Maple trees? Maples tend to keep growing well into fall, so late fall, just as the canopy becomes bare, is the best time to transplant.
  • Fruit trees? Transplant in early spring before the growing season starts.

How and When to Transplant Cannabis Plants

Share Print In the first part of this series, you familiarized yourself with the different types of pots available for your plants. Now the question is, why, how, and when should you transplant your cannabis?

In this installment, we explain why progressive transplanting is important, while offering insight into why various container sizes benefit certain growth stages. Finally, we’ll review some techniques for successfully transplanting cannabis.

Why Is Transplanting Important?

Some growers initially sow their seeds in large containers in order to bypass the transplanting process. The setback is that the roots will be suspended in a large amount of soil and may not absorb all of the moisture. This sitting moisture can then lead to root rot.

For this reason, most growers opt to start seedlings in smaller containers before gradually transplanting them into their “finishing pots.”

When growing cannabis in containers, the number one limitation for plant development lies with root expansion. Roots need to expand and develop in order for a plant to grow and flourish. Containers determine the amount of space available for roots to grow, and cannabis requires transplanting in order to reach its full potential.

Furthermore, when root systems outgrow their environment and do not have enough room to expand, it may become “root bound.” The symptoms of a root-bound plant include:

  • Flimsy new growth
  • Stunted flower production
  • Stem discoloration (reddening)
  • Nutrient sensitivity
  • Nutrient deficiency

A plant that is root bound may also appear under-watered. If a plant requires watering once or more a day, this may mean a transplant is needed. Plants that continue to grow while root bound are at risk of growth deficiency and disease, and may die off.

Gradually moving plants from smaller containers to slightly larger ones will allow the roots to develop, while getting the most from their containers. When the plants are ready to move into the flowering stage, they should have plenty of room in their finishing pots for the roots to flourish.

When Is the Right Time to Transplant?


Once your cannabis seeds are germinated, they are ready to be put in their first container. At this point, the grower must decide how and when transplanting will occur.

Here are some indicators that your cannabis is ready for a new container:

  • Number of Leaves: Young plants sowed in small containers are ready to be transplanted after they’ve sprouted 4-5 sets of leaves (not including the cotyledon). This may vary in some strains, but at this point, roots have typically overgrown their starter cup.
  • Root Development: When checking perforations at the bottom of a container, a plant should have a healthy and visibly white root system. Any discoloration or darkening may indicate that the plant has become root bound, and a transplant must take place immediately.
  • Vegetative Stage: Many opt to transplant to a finishing pot in the final two weeks of vegetative growth before a plant transitions into the flowering phase. At this point, a plant will explode both in size and volume and will require a substantial amount of space for root development.

How Much Space Does Cannabis Need?

Not only do certain cannabis strains require more space than others, but growers will inevitably be working within their own garden’s parameters. How much room do you have available in your grow space?

Medium-sized indoor plants tend not to need anything more than a 3-to-5-gallon container as a finishing pot in the flowering stage. On the other hand, large outdoor plants may require several-hundred-gallon containers to reach their behemoth potential.

A plant tends to require 2 gallons of soil for each 12 inches of growth it achieves during its vegetative cycle.

When transplanting, it’s advised to give the plants at least double the space of their previous container. This reduces the number of times you must transplant, and therefore minimizes the risk of “transplant shock,” which may occur when a plant experiences extreme stress from root disturbance.

When in doubt, always opt for slightly more space than needed. A plant tends to require 2 gallons of soil for each 12 inches of growth it achieves during its vegetative cycle. Knowing the potential height of the strain you’re planning to grow is a helpful consideration. (Note: information on a strain’s typical height can be found on most Leafly strain pages under Grow Info.)

How to Transplant Cannabis

The process of transplanting does not come without risk. Transplant shock can be incredibly detrimental to the growth and development of a plant, even deadly in some cases. However, through proper execution, the process of transplanting should benefit the plant, leading to stronger root development and healthier flower production.

First Transplant

Young plants should originally be sowed in a container about the size of a Solo cup. This starting pot should be adequate for a few weeks before transplanting is needed. Once again, the very first transplant should occur after the seedlings have sprouted their 4th or 5th leaf set.

After checking the root development and confirming that the plant is beginning to fill the basin with healthy roots, it is time to choose a successor container.

  • Wash your hands and/or wear gloves to prevent contamination of the delicate roots. Keep the surroundings as sanitary as possible.
  • Try not to water plants the day before their transplant. This will allow the soil to stick a bit when being removed from the starter container.
  • Make sure the receiving pot has been filled with your grow medium and there is enough space to safely transplant.
  • Do not disturb or damage the roots when transplanting. The first transplant poses the greatest risk for shock, and this occurs as a direct result of root damage and agitation.
  • Avoid intense light when transplanting. This will help prevent transplant shock as well.
  • Always administer a healthy amount of water after a transplant.

Vegetative Transplanting

After the initial transplant, all others should be based on root expansion until a finishing container is selected. Remember, a plant tends to require 2 gallons of soil for each 12 inches of growth it achieves during its vegetative cycle.

Plants should maximize the space in their current containers before a new one is chosen. This process may continue for as long as a grower intends to keep their plant in a vegetative state. Oftentimes “mother” plants–used for cloning­–are transplanted into larger pots so that they may continue to vegetate for long periods of time.

  • Always monitor plants for symptoms of distress or overcrowded roots.
  • Growers administering nutrients should cut the input in half before transplanting to avoid shock.
  • Avoid overpacking the grow medium into a container during and after the transplant. This can compromise drainage and may damage root systems.

Finishing Containers

A finishing container is the final holding place for a plant during its flowering cycle. This will be the largest container used during the grow, and it is highly recommended that plants are placed in finishing pots prior to the flowering stage.

  • Do not transplant after the plant’s flowering cycle has begun. Transplant shock can cripple the early development a plant undergoes during this phase.
  • Give the plant at least 1-2 weeks after a transplant before initiating flowering.
  • Have plenty of space available in the final container for a plant to fully develop. For indoors, this means 3-5 gallons depending on strain selection. For outdoors, 5+ gallon containers are recommended (again, depending on the strain).
  • Larger plants may require stakes and other supporting mechanisms to avoid structural damage during and after transplants.

If performed correctly, the benefits of transplanting can be profound. There is a lot of room for customization when it comes to transplanting progression, with different systems suiting various grow styles and container options. The most important aspect of a successful transplanting routine is that grower gets what they want from their garden and gets the most out of the containers they choose to grow with.

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Patrick Bennett

Patrick lives with his wife and daughter in Denver, where he spends his time writing, photographing, and creating content for the cannabis community.

View Patrick Bennett’s articlesWinter is the quietest time for roses, but not necessarily for rose growers. You can now safely move roses that were planted in the wrong place and re-pot container roses that are no longer looking good. From mid May to mid June is the best time to tackle these tasks because the roses are dormant and will not suffer root shock. If done correctly, transplanting and re-potting can be completely successful with all the roses surviving and thriving.

Re-potting roses

Roses don’t need to be re-potted that frequently because they have the ability to regenerate themselves. In winter the many hair roots die and decompose creating natural compost. It is usually very clear when roses do need to be re-potted. They don’t flower or grow as well, the leaves may have a yellow, underfed look and they may also be more prone to disease. This will be due to the fact that the soil in the containers is depleted or has become hard and there is not enough aeration around the roots. Generally, roses can be re-potted every three years and it may also become necessary if a rose has outgrown its container.

An alternative, when it is too awkward to re-pot a particular rose, is to push a strong stick into the potting soil several times, wiggling it around to create tunnels. Fill the tunnels with compost or an enriched potting soil mix. This process also opens up the soil and allows the air and water in.

The potting mix for roses needs to be quite rich. A special potting mix that consists of soil, peanut shells, clinker ash (for aeration) and well-rotted horse, chicken and pig manure is available from all Ludwig’s Roses outlets. If you don’t have access to it, you can make up your own mixture. It should consist of one-third soil, two-thirds coarse organic material plus bone meal or superphosphate. If you use sandy soil then also add a water-retaining material. The organic material can consist of a mix of peanut shells, coarse outdoor potting soil, rough homemade compost or the fibrous material obtained by soaking compressed palm peat bricks.

Step by step re-potting

  • Cut back the rose by half to reduce water loss.
  • Lay the pot on its side and ease out the rose.
  • Shake excess soil off the roots and remove broken roots.
  • Wash the pot with Jeyes fluid or Sunlight dishwashing liquid.
  • Half fill the pot with the new soil mix and position the rose on the soil. There should be a 5 cm space between the soil level (the rose at its previous level) and the top of the pot.
  • Fill in around the rose with new potting mixture, working it down the sides of the pot and lightly firming it. Make sure the bud union is covered with potting soil.
  • Cover the surface with mulch. This keeps the soil cool and prevents the daily watering from compacting the soil.
  • Water well, so that the water drains out the bottom of the pot.
  • Keep the rose out of the full sun for about a week (or until you feel it has settled in).

Step-by-step transplanting

This is the best way to revitalise roses that are in the wrong position, especially if there is too much shade or root competition.

  • First prepare the new position. Dig a hole, at least 50 cm deep, and mix compost, Vigorosa and bone meal or superphosphate into the soil that came out of the hole. (If several roses are to be transplanted then it is better to prepare a bed instead of individual holes.)
  • Fill the hole with water, let it drain out and then return the soil to the hole.
  • Cut the rose or roses down by half.
  • Push the blade of a spade into the ground in a full circle around each rose bush, about 20 cm from the centre of the bush. This is to loosen the ground and cut the anchoring roots. Once these roots are severed then slide in the spade and carefully lift the rose out of the ground.
  • If there is serious resistance it means some of the major roots have not been cut. Instead of tugging on the bush to release it, use the spade to cut the roots cleanly.
  • Shake the soil off the roots, prune away broken roots and dead wood and, if possible, plant the rose in its new position immediately.
  • Plant the bud union at soil level, firm down the soil and water well. Follow with weekly watering.

The rose will start growing but the leaves will not lead to new blooms and it will need pruning in July.

Transplant or Move a Rose Bush

There may come a time when you wish to move a rose to a more ideal location, or the rose has outgrown the spot where it currently lives. Roses are quite adaptable to being placed in a ‘new’ home. However they do not like to “rent” or “lease” their place in the garden.

Roses want a brand new home, a place where nothing has previously been planted. In this regard the rose species can be a bit finicky. But don’t worry. Follow our advice and transplanting will be simple and successful.

Two Methods for Transplanting Roses

  1. Dormant Transplanting

The best time to transplant a rose is in early spring when the rose is still dormant. This causes less stress and shock to the plant.

  • Timing is everything. Wait until all threat of frost or freezing weather has passed.
  • Reduce plant size. Cut the rose canes back to 10 to 12 inches and remove all foliage, if there is any.
  • Dig a new hole. Make sure that there is good drainage. (If you’re not sure about drainage, dig your hole, fill it with water and come back in an hour. If the water has drained out, you have a good spot. If not, select another place. TIP: Roses do not like to have “wet feet” (roots) or they will fail to grow.
  • Remove the rose. Dig far enough away from the root ball so that roots are not damaged. The goal is to take as many of the roots as possible. Gently transfer it to the new hole. If the plant is large, it can be helpful to drag it to the hole on a tarp.
  • Amend the soil. In a bucket or wheelbarrow, mix equal amounts of mulch, potting soil, and peat moss together. Add ½ of this mixture around the roots.
  • Water the soil well when the planting hole is only half filled. Allow the water to settle (you may need to adjust the height of the rose at this point if the soil sank an excessive amount).
  • Add remaining soil mixture and water again. Water the rose every day for a week or two depending on your weather.
  • Do not fertilize or use any insecticides until you see new growth on the rose.

2. Non-dormant Transplanting

This method takes place during the growing season. Roses are tougher than you think and can be moved during the growing season if they have the right amount of water.

  • Prep your rose. A liquid vitamin B1 transplanting fertilizer purchased from your local nursery will help the rose adjust to the move.
  • Water deeply before transplanting. The rose should be fully hydrated so that all of its cells are as full of water as possible. This lessens the demands on the roots.
  • Reduce plant size. Prune out any dried or dead material from the plant. You can elect to cut the taller canes down to a manageable height before digging up the rose. Some gardeners prefer to match the height of the rose canes to the size of the root ball, which is acceptable also. Note: You can elect not to cut the rose back, letting it decide how much of its top it can support. It will tell you by wilting at the tips, which is a sign to increase watering. The material that does not recover within a few days of liberal watering needs to be removed at that time.
  • Dig a new hole. Make sure that there is good drainage. (If you’re not sure about drainage, dig your hole, fill it with water and come back in an hour. If the water has drained out, you have a good spot. If not, select another place. TIP: Roses do not like to have “wet feet” (roots) or they will fail to grow.
  • Remove the rose. Dig far enough away from the root ball so that roots are not damaged. The goal is to take as many of the roots as possible. Gently transfer it to the new hole. If the plant is large, it can be helpful to drag it to the hole on a tarp. Note: If the rose wilts when transplanted, it may not survive.
  • Amend the soil. In a bucket or wheelbarrow, mix equal amounts of mulch, potting soil, and peat moss together. Add ½ of this mixture around the roots.
  • Water the soil well when the planting hole is only half filled. Allow the water to settle (you may need to adjust the height of the rose at this point if the soil sank an excessive amount).
  • Add remaining soil mixture and water again. Water the rose every day for a week or two depending on your weather.
  • Do not fertilize or use any insecticides until you see new growth on the rose.

TIP TO REMEMBER: Fertilizers need water in order to work. Fertilizers are essentially salts. They can burn a rose’s roots if enough water is not present. Therefore, always water roses before and after applying any fertilizer.

How To Transplant Roses: Tips For Transplanting A Rose Bush

Roses are exceptional plants but require lots of care to ensure their health and vigor. They are especially sensitive to being moved, but with proper care, including tips on when and how to transplant a rose bush, you can continue to enjoy their beauty for years to come without any ill effects. Read on to learn more about how to transplant roses.

When Should You Transplant Roses – in the Fall or Spring?

Questions commonly circulate about should you transplant roses in the fall or spring. Typically, this depends on where you live. Warmer climates, for instance, may find it better to transplant them in fall while people in cooler regions find that transplanting rose bushes is an easier task in spring.

As roses are sensitive to shock, moving them while dormant (in late winter or early spring) is generally recommended. When transplanting rose bushes in spring, wait until all threat of frost or freezing weather has passed. The soil should also be relatively warm and manageable. Fall planting can occasionally initiate dormancy and should be done before the onset of frost or overly frigid temperatures.

Tips for Transplanting a Rose Bush

Before you move a rose bush, there are some important things to know. Roses thrive in areas with good, fertile soil enriched with organic matter. They also require plenty of sun and water. With this in mind, be sure to transplant roses in similar locations and conditions.

Always prepare the bed or planting hole in advance, working in plenty of compost. The hole should be at least 15 inches deep and wide enough to accommodate the rootball and root system (approximately 12 inches or so). Build up a small mound of soil in the center of the hole for your rose bush to sit on. Rose bushes should also be watered thoroughly for about two days prior to transplanting. For best results, choose an overcast day for transplanting rose bushes.

How to Transplant Roses

In addition to knowing when transplanting rose bushes is best and preparation beforehand, it’s important to know how to transplant a rose bush. Once the hole has been properly prepared and the rose significantly watered, you’re ready to move it. Dig about 12 inches around the bush and approximately 15 inches deep. Carefully lift out the rootball, taking as much soil with it as possible. Place the bush in the hole on the mound, spreading out the roots. The rose bush should be sitting slightly above ground level. Fill in around the rose bush with half the excavated soil.

Then water it thoroughly, allowing it to fill up and drain before backfilling with the remaining soil. Press down firmly to eliminate any air pockets. After planting, prune the rose back as much as possible using angled cuts and removing any spindly, unsightly, or weakened branches. Continue to keep the rose bush watered.

If you follow these tips for transplanting a rose bush, your chances of success will be greatly improved.

When and how do I replant roses?

The “best practice” advice about moving a rose successfully is to wait till it is leafless, which can be as late as December depending on where in the UK it is.

Summer is the worst time to move roses Picture: Andrew Crowley

Once not in active growth and during a mild spell, it should have its oldest wood cut right down as near as possible to the ground, and the best of the rest pruned down to within about 12-19in (30-50cm) of the base.

Roses have coarse roots, so it is pretty impossible to prevent them from becoming completely soilless as the plant comes out of the ground.

“Bare-rooted”, dormant and cut down is how roses were always traditionally sold, so Helen’s friend’s rose in this state will not be particularly vulnerable.

•How do I save my lilies after an attack of lily beetles?

Wrapped in sacking or newspaper and stored in a shed or garage it should be fine for several weeks, but it should not be just abandoned should there be a delay in replanting it.

Further words of caution: during the removal from its old site, some roots are likely to be damaged; these should be cleanly trimmed with secateurs to prevent future rotting that could hinder the recovery of the rose, or even kill it.

Finally, if this rose is too old to move successfully the best thing to do would be to find out its identity (maybe the owner knows) and just buy a her new one.

•How to deal with fungal leaf spot

I am moving and I want to take my rose bush with me. I planted it 5 years ago and it is big. I need to know how and when the best time to dig it up and replant it. Springfield, MA

I’ve gotten quite a few emails lately from people on the move that want to take their roses with them. Unfortunately, this late in the season is not an ideal time to dig up a rose and move it. The best time to move a rose is when it is dormant. However, we cannot always schedule our lives around our gardens.

If time allows, you can root prune your rose to help ease the move. You should begin this process three or four months before you transplant and repeat it once a month.

Take a sharpshooter (a very narrow, elongated shovel) and drive it into the ground in a circle around the crown of the rose. To determine the size of the circle take a look at the main canes of the rose. You want to make your circle nine inches in diameter for every inch of cane. Let’s say you have a rose with (2) one inch canes. Your circle should be eighteen inches in diameter. Root pruning will cause the rose to create more roots in the soil area that will be moved with the rose. This will help the rose to become established in its new location.

When moving any plant, always try to keep as much of the root system as you can. Use a sharp, narrow shovel to cut around the parameter of the shrub and remove as much of the root ball as possible. Often the soil may fall away from the roots, but that is okay. The plant will be fine.

It is handy to have a piece of this burlap around to use as a sling. Just put the plant in it and transport it to its new location. When placing a plant in the new hole make sure that the soil level is the same that it was in the previous location. Planting too deep can actually kill many plants.

Fill in with some good soil and compost and apply a root stimulator supplement around the roots and mulch it in.

Once the rose is in it’s new location, it needs to be pruned back about fifty percent. Any large canes will need to be sealed. You can buy sealer at your local garden center.

The key to survival is keeping the plant consistently moist. Be sure to give it plenty of water but don’t let it get soggy. I like to apply root stimulator monthly for the rest of the growing season.

Don’t be alarmed if the plant wilts on you. This should subside within about days. Keep your fingers crossed and with a little luck and blessings from Mother Nature your rose just might make it.

Planting a Rose Bush

All You Need to Know About Planting Roses

Rose plants and bushes are many gardeners favourite plant and, when well planted, can create amazing centrepieces and displays. However, planting and caring for roses can be tricky. In this complete guide to planting rose bushes, find out the best conditions for roses to thrive in, how to move and replant rose bushes, and how best to plant and care for rose varieties in pots.

Do Rose Bushes Like Sun or Shade?

Although rose plants are long suffering and will grow in most places, if you want them to grow as well as possible then think of three things. It doesn’t matter what type of rose you’re planting, you need to think of Earth, Wind and Fire.


  • Roses like a moisture retentive soil, but drainage should be good. No rose likes growing in a bog. Kill 2 or 3 birds with one stone here. Masses of well rotted organic matter is the answer. It improves soil quality and enriches at the same time. When preparing a rose bed, it is well worth while covering it in a layer 3-4″ deep of well rotted compost or horse manure and digging it over thoroughly to the depth of a spade. Your roses will be there and flowering hard for the next 20-30 years and this initial preparation will pay huge dividends all through their lives.


  • Roses principally suffer from fungal diseases. Good soil helps keep them healthy, but a site where the air moves easily will also reduce the incidence of diseases such as mildew, black spot and rust. Having said which, growing roses in really exposed sites does mean that a bit of shelter for the bigger bush roses in particular is necessary.


  • Roses need light. With very few exceptions indeed, roses want to be planted and grow where there is plenty of light. They love sunshine and at least want high light levels. You can grow climbing roses through a shady area though so they can get to the sun (e.g. up & over a shady wall or through a tree). Ideally your roses should get at least half a day of sun in the summer to perform at their best.

How to Plant a Bareroot Rose

You can order bareroot roses at any time and plant them from November to April.

Choose a spot in the border with good light. Dig a hole large enough so your rose will be planted with the graft union at soil level and with plenty of room for its roots around the sides. Improve the soil from the hole by removing weeds, large stones, rubbish and roots and adding a shovel full of compost or well rotted manure. Sprinkle Rootgrow mycorrhizal fungi in the bottom of the hole so it will make contact with the roots.

Position your rose so its roots are spread out and backfill the hole with soil, firming it gently as you go. Water in thoroughly.

How to Remove, Move and Replant a Rose Bush

All good gardeners revisit their plans and, often, this includes moving plants that have outgrown their space. You may be looking to remove a rose bush for many reasons – they may be unhappy or their colour may be wrong. You may be moving house and want to take the rose with you, or give a rose bush away. Removing, moving and replanting roses is perfectly possible. This is especially the case when they are younger. All you need to do is follow some basic rules:

Firstly, moving a rose bush works best in winter, when they are fully dormant. Make sure that you prepare the site to which the rose is to be moved first (as described above).

Then you’ll need to prune the rose back to make your job easier and to help establish the right leaf-to-root ratio.

Next, using a spade to cut a 50cm ring around the plant and then angle your spade in at 45 degrees in order to loosen the soil around the roots. After this, go round with a fork, aiming to dislodge the roots from the east with as little disturbance as possible. Gently tease the plant from the loosened soil, shake some of the soil from the roots, and wrap the roots in damp sacking.

At the new site, check the root-to-growth ratio again. If there are masses of shoots and branches and a very small root system, prune the rose even more once planted so that the roots can support the existing growth in spring. Apply some Rootgrow or other microrrhizal fungi, and plant the rose into the soil – taking care not to plant it deeper than it had been before. Water, prune and mulch as necessary.

If you absolutely have to move a rose in the summer (we really don’t advise that you do!), then dig a hole one and a half times the size of the rootball that you are going to move. You need to try to keep as much of the rootball intact as possible. Move the rose and rootball to the new site, and then place it in the prepared hole. Backfill with any soil, water well, prune back some of the shoots, feed the rose and then mulch it.

Moving a Rose to a Site Where a Rose Was Planted Before

The above advice all holds true as long as the new site did not have a rose in it beforehand. If you are keen to replace an existing rose with another rose or to plant a new rose where one has died before it is essential that you completely replace the earth to a depth of at least 30cm and at least 60cm around it with new soil.

This is for two reasons. Firstly, there can be a build up of fungal spores and micro-organisms in the old soil which could infect the new rose. Secondly, there will have been a depletion in nutrients of the social by the previous rose.

The combination of these will mean that your new rose will not thrive when replanted. Its roots will rot away so that what leaf growth there is will be miscoloured and – eventually – the rose will die (or, at least, take a long time to recover). This is known in the trade as rose replant disease and it is not completely understood.

What is clear, however, is that prevention involves changing the soil. You can either use a mixture of top soil from another part of the garden along with home-grown compost or well-rotted manure, or use some John Innes No. 3 compost. Back this up by using Rootgrow and your roses should transplant successfully. Make sure you still keep a wary eye out for signs of disease and be doubly assiduous about watering and feeding at the right times of year.

Planting Rose Plants in Pots

If you’ve read the above, you’ll realise that pots do not provide the ideal growing conditions for most roses. Rose breeders are aware of this, but also know that there are many keen gardeners who love roses but who do not have the space or type of soil to grow them the standard way. Due to this, there has been an amazing proliferation of miniature and patio varieties now available on the market. These are the obvious roses to choose to grow in pots and there are ways to care for these roses and to keep them happy in them years to come.

Firstly, choose a pot that has a good depth to it – at least 35cm, preferably more.

Use a good soil based compost (John Innes No 3 is the best) and then enrich it with about 20% multipurpose compost or some well-rotted manure.

Before you put the compost in the pot, put some gravel in the bottom of it so that the soil can drain. Put the pot on bricks for the same reason and in position so that you do not have to move it once it is full.

As we know, full sun helps with flowering. But it will also dry out your pot. Dry compost stresses the rose and makes it more prone to suffering from mildew. So, even with watering daily in hot weather, you can help yourself by siting the pot itself in the shade with a view to the rose it holds being in or growing towards the sun, if at all possible.

Feed your roses in the spring with Multirose or Vitax granules. You may need to feed more than this – follow the instructions on the packet – but avoid doing so after August because this encourages soft green growth which is easily damaged in winter, making it easy for fungal diseases to enter the plant.

Mulch the pots with well-rotted compost to keep up the amount of nutrients leaching into the soil with each watering and help moisture retention.

Every other year, remove the top 5cm of compost and replace it with more of the same.

If you are desperate to grow a climbing rose in a pot, this is possible but research its eventual height and choose one of the less vigorous varieties – 3-4 metres is a good limit. Your pot size will also have to increase to a minimum depth of 45 cm – the larger the better.

Some of the low growing ground cover roses can also work well in pots too. They tend to spread rather than go up and they are often rather tougher. This helps them cope better with the more variable conditions of container growing.

Transplanting Established Roses

From time to time we wish to move an already settled rose plant. It could be that it is in the wrong spot, you are moving house or want to pot it up to give to a friend. This can be easily done for young plants.
If your plant has been settled for many years it does become tricky. The older the rose, the more likely that it will not appreciate being moved, although it is possible.
The best time to move a rose is in the winter dormancy when the plant is asleep and will not be looking for nourishment from the soil.

Dormant Transplanting

When you have done your winter prune and cleaned up the area around the plant. Get a long narrow spade and cut a circle around the plant about 45cm in diameter (the larger the better). Angle the spade slightly toward the plant to make the job of pulling it out much easier, although you will not need to cut directly under the plant. Reach down and pull the rose out by the base of the plant, giving it a shake to release the soil form the roots.
Place the rose roots into a bucket of plain water. Move the plant in this bucket to avoid drying out. It is very important to keep the roots moist until planting into the new location. Never let the roots dry out.

It is good to balance the top growth of the plant to the amount of roots you have left on, so the plant will not be stressed to supply a large branch structure from a very small root system.
You can then plant as a bare root rose in the new location.

Transplanting during the growing season

This can be a bit harder as the plant will need soil to be kept around the roots. Any air getting to the roots during this time can cause damage to the plant.
Prune to at least half of its size, the balance of roots to growth will be important to make sure that the plant is not shocked too much but you do not have to do a winter prune. Your plant may wilt a bit or just sit for a few weeks once in its new location but if kept moist it will recover.
With climbers and weepers please keep at least three to four long young canes attached to the plant, although the lateral branches may be trimmed.
Get a long narrow spade and cut a circle around the plant about 45cm in diameter (the larger the better). Angle the spade slightly toward the plant to make the job of pulling it out much easier, although you will not need to cut directly under the plant. When lifting the plant from the ground, make sure you keep as much soil around the roots as possible – the more the better.
Place the plant with accompanying soil into a container for transport to its new location.
Replanting is a case of just digging a hole a little larger than the root ball on the plant and placing the rose into it. Make sure the rose is placed at the same height as the original planting. Back fill the hole and water in well.

Much like the interiors of our homes, our gardens sometimes need a little rearranging. Perhaps the color combination is wrong, a plant isn’t happy in its current
location or you just want to make a change. Moving established plants takes elbow grease and planning, but there’s really nothing to it. This is especially true
of Knock Out® roses. More vigorous than some other roses, there is little to fear when transplanting this shrub.

When to Move Knock Out® Roses

The best time to move a rose is in late winter or early spring while the plant is dormant.

Prepare the Planting Hole First

Dig the hole twice as big as it needs to be to fit the root ball. This will give you room to spread out the roots and add soil amendments to the bottom of the hole.
If your root ball is 18 inches, make the hole 24-inches wide. Ditto on the depth.

Digging Up

When moving any plant, always try to keep as much of the root system as you can. Use a sharp, narrow shovel to cut around the perimeter of the shrub and remove as
much of the root ball as possible. Often the soil may fall away from the roots, but that is okay. The plant will be fine.

It is handy to have a piece of burlap around to use as a sling to transport the rose to its new location.


Make a pile in the bottom of the planting hole with a 50:50 mix of garden soil and compost. Place the rose on the pile and spread out the roots. Make sure that the
soil level is the same that it was in the previous location. Planting too deep can actually kill many plants.

Back fill the planting hole with the soil and compost mix. Spread an organic, all-purpose fertilizer around the base of the rose. The package will indicate the proper
amount. Water in and add more soil if needed. Top with mulch, making sure to keep the mulch away from the base of the shrub.

Caring for Your Newly Transplanted Rose

Once the rose is in its new location, it needs to be pruned back about 50 percent.

Transplanting Roses

By: Kristen SmithMarch 13th, 2013

There may be many reasons for wanting to transplant a rose. Maybe the existing location will be under construction, perhaps you would prefer it in a different part of the garden for aesthetic reasons, or you may be moving. Whatever reason you have for deciding to move your rose, choose wisely when selecting your roses’ new location. Your rose is longing for a permanent home.

The best time to transplant is late winter or early spring while the plant is still dormant and before new growth begins to push out. It is a good idea to plan ahead. Select the new site for your rose before digging it out. An ideal site will be in a sunny, well drained location with plenty of room available for the rose to grow and mature. Prepare the hole for the new location before you dig the rose.

Depending on the size of your rose at the time of transplanting, trim the canes to 10-12”. This will reduce the amount of shock and stress the plant undergoes when transplanted. Be sure to dig out away from the base of the plant so as to make sure you are digging out as much of the roots as possible. In general, the diameter of the root ball should be around 24”. Settle your rose into its new location. Plant as you would a new rose, making sure the top of the root ball is level or slightly below the soil surface. Backfill the hole with soil amended with organic matter. Tamp the soil down. Soak the newly planted rose in very well. Monitor the shrub for water over the next several weeks as it settles into its new location. A layer of mulch around the new planting will help conserve moisture and keep the roots cooler.

Transplanting may be done during the growing season, but make sure the plant is well hydrated before you transplant. The rose will likely wilt if transplanted during the growing season and weaker branches may shrivel and die back. Cut these branches off if it appears they will not produce new growth.

Do not fertilize the newly transplanted roses for at least a month after or until you see some signs of new growth. Applying fertilizer too soon after transplanting may burn the roots, setting the plant even further back in getting established, or killing it.

Your newly transplanted rose should adjust well to its new location provided you’ve given thoughtful consideration to its new home and given it a little TLC along the way.


New Plant Coordinator at Star® Roses and Plants

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