Tips on Transplanting Roses

Whether it’s to improve their access to direct sunlight, or simply to rearrange your garden aesthetic, transplanting roses can be tricky, but doesn’t need to be a disaster if you plan ahead. Before you remove your roses from their current planting place, you need to arm yourself with a few lessons in successful relocation techniques.

Your first objective is to prepare the spot in the ground into which your roses are going to be placed. You need to make sure that the plant’s root ball is not caught unprotected in the hot sun, and that no moisture escapes from it. To move your plant by vehicle, take precautions by making sure to water the plant 24 hours before you move it, and to wrap the root ball in moistened burlap when you extract it from the ground to hold in moisture until it is placed in its new home. 

The secret to successfully transplanting your roses is H2O. If your plant is dry, it may not survive the move, but if it is full of water the root system is not as stressed, which is key to the plant’s survival. 

When you begin removing the plant from the ground, try to extract as much of the root ball as possible. You don’t need to prune any healthy plant growth from for the plant to live, and in fact the plant growth is critical in generating the sugar production necessary in photosynthesis.  Once you have completed the transplant, keep an eye out for wilting at its tips, which could be a sign that its ability to support its top anatomy has been compromised. If this does begin to happen, increase watering and prune those tips that do not heal. 

Experienced rose growers warn against transplanting roses during growing season if at all possible because it can unnecessarily traumatize them. It is easier to move them safely at the end of winter dormancy since they are less susceptible to shock when they are not in a growth pattern. Additionally, after the first spring pruning, your rose plant will be at its smallest and therefore easier to move, especially its vast root system. Transplanting roses can be done successfully in season when necessary; the key to achieving optimum results during any season is to plan ahead, provide plenty of water, and follow the tips in this article for the best results possible. 

Don’t forget to check online, or talk to your local garden store expert if you have any questions about safely transplanting your beloved roses.

Add some bone meal to the soil hole in which you are placing your rose plant can help fortify it during the adaptation period – about a half a cup should do it. When placing your rose plant in the soil, raise it a bit higher than it was previously so it can settle naturally into the new hole. Make sure the bud union is one or two inches above the soil, and after the plant has been watered and settles naturally, press gently on the top layer of soil to eradicate air pockets.


I’ve been around farming all of my life. Farmers Life Blog is a way I can share my passion for all things farming and gardening and hopefully share some of my knowledge and experience through the process. Shootin' the breeze doesn't have to be confined to the front porch anymore, now there's a whole world to share my deep and abiding love with.

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