My dad is moving within the next 2 months to a flat with no garden. My mother planted 2 beautifully-scented rose bushes many years ago and they hold huge sentimental value to me. I do not have a garden either but do have space for large planters at the front of my flat. Do roses typically thrive in such a move? I also only get the morning sun whereas my Dad's garden has sun most of the day. Is this an intention doomed to failure? I cant bear to lose the roses!! Phaedra
Hello Phaedra. Well it is a tough task for rosebushes that are already leafed out and growing well to be sure but not impossible. Transplanting the rosebushes really should be done in the very early spring before they start to leaf out. Moving established rosebushes at any other time can indeed cause their death. However there are times when we just simply cannot wait for the best time to do things. The large planters both in diameter and depth are needed. If moving rosebushes that are well into growth, first water them very well the day before digging them up. Then cut off all of the buds and blooms on the bushes, yes I did just say that... It is hard to do but is best for the rosebushes survival. Prune off the buds and blooms down far enough that the overall bushes are more manageable for the transplanting. Seal the ends of the cut canes with Elmers All Purpose White Glue or the Tacky Glue you can get at craft stores such as Hobby Lobby. Have the large planters ready and with some good potting soil. Place a bit of 3/4 gravel in the bottom of the planters for a good drainage zone and make sure the planters have good drainage holes in them. Dig up the rosebushes and get as much of the root ball as possible, this applies to growing rosebushes and dormant rosebushes as well. Wrap the root balls with wet burlap for the transport to the new location. Plant the rosebushes in the planters as soon as possible. Water the rosebushes into their new planter homes with water that has both a root stimulator and a product called Super Thrive mixed into the same water. The root stimulator helps get the root system growing well and the super thrive with all its nutrient vitamins helps the rosebush deal with the stresses and shock of the transplant process. You could even water the rosebushes with this mix the day before the actual digging up to get a jump start on things. Plant the rosebushes such that they are about two inches below the final soils line at their base or grafted area. Water the rosebushes with the same mix the next 4 to 5 times they need watering. Keep a close eye on the soils moisture too, as the roots are not established well enough to go out and get much on their own yet. You will likely see some wilted foliage and drooping, possibly the need for some more pruning for about 3 to 4 weeks with transplanted growing rosebushes as the root system just cannot support much top growth for this time period. Once new growth starts to appear you will know things are going very well. Do not lose heart if the rosebushes totally defoliate back to bare green canes. As long as the canes are green there is still hope. Don't be afraid to ask questions as thing progress.
Stan The Rose Man