Rose Bush Care
I have an heirloom rose bush in Middle, Tn. that I need to transplant in Feb-March. The problem is there is a large amount of hedge bush that has invaded the rose bush area and intermingled with their roots. What can I do to get rid of the hedge? Thanks.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
It can be a bit of mess to get things corrected when this happens but it can be done. The best time to do this is when the rosebush is dormant or still taking its winters nap as I call it. :) That way you can dig the rosebush out getting as much of the root ball as possible. Carefully press the dirt out of the roots being careful to trace back as many roots as possible to the base or lower trunk of the rosebush. You will lose some of the finer feeder roots but that is to be expected. The thing is to lose as few as possible. Once this has been done inspect the remaining roots carefully to be sure the invasive roots are out of the root system. Then you can move the rosebush to its new location, as long as the ground is still workable and plant it like a bare root rosebush using some nice garden soils with compost in the mix. Water in lightly with some water with a product called Super Thrive mixed into the water. The Super Thrive helps to avoid transplant shock and helps the rosebush gets its roots going again to get the rosebush re-established. Adding just a bit of root stimulator to the water is also good. If you cannot plant the rosebush back into the ground right away, plant it in a bucket or large container with drainage holes in the bottom. Then get the rosebush planted in the early spring.
Getting rid of the hedge is another story. In doing this before, I have had to not only dig down along each side of the hedge and remove the hedge totally, but remove extra soils out about two feet on each side of the hedge bushes to get as much of the root network as possible. Leaving too much of the root network will tend to allow it to come back with great vigor and now in places it was not before! Dispose of the hedge bushes and roots/soil. Have some good soils brought in to refill the area of the dig. Then you will have a great opportunity, sort of a blank garden canvas, to plant things as you desire. It is a lot of work, but I assure you, it can be very enjoyable for years to come as you enjoy your creation there.