How to Temporarily Transplant a Rose

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on March 4, 2016

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This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook relocates a mature rose bush to keep it safe while exterior construction work takes place. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

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Shopping List for Temporarily Transplanting a Rose:
– Jute twine, used to secure the bush to the trellis
– Wooden trellis, for stabilizing the rose bush
– 24-inch plastic pot, for transplanting the bush
– Two 30-inch-long 2x4s, used to stake the trellis to the pot
– 1 1/4-inch drywall screws, for securing the stakes to the pot
– Topsoil, compost, sand, and rose bush fertilizer, used to fill pot
– Liquid organic fertilizer, used to feed the root system
– 5-gallon bucket, for mixing liquid fertilizer
– Bark mulch, for insulating the base of the bush
– Antidesiccant spray,"] used to prevent the bush from drying out
– Burlap, for shielding the bush from frigid weather

Tools List for Temporarily Transplanting a Rose:
– Two transplanting shovels, used to dig out the rose bush
– Bypass pruning shears, for trimming the rose bush
– Utility knife or pocketknife, used to cut twine
– Cordless drill, used to drive screws
– Wheelbarrow, for transporting material

Steps for Temporarily Transplanting a Rose:
1. Use jute twine to tie the canes of the rose bush to a wooden trellis.
2. Trim the rose bush to 6 to 8 feet tall using bypass pruning shears.
3. Dig a 24-inch-diameter hole around the rose bush with two transplanting shovels. Cut straight down with the shovels to sever the outer roots. Then dig in at an angle and use both shovels to pry the bush from the hole.
4. Use 1 1/4-inch drywall screws to fasten two 30-inch-long stakes to the inside of a 24-inch plastic pot.
5. Mix together topsoil, compost, sand, and rose fertilizer.
6. Add 6 to 8 inches of the soil mixture to the plastic pot.
7. Lift the rose bush and trellis and set them into the pot.
8. Fill the pot with soil mixture, then screw the trellis to the 2×4 stakes.
9. Carry the potted rose bush to its new, safe location.
10. Dig a hole as deep as the pot and a little wider. Set the potted rose bush into the hole.
11. Backfill around the plastic pot with the excavated soil.
12. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with water, then add liquid organic fertilizer and mix well.
13. Pour the diluted fertilizer into the pot around the rose bush.
14. Insulate the base of the rose bush with 12 inches of bark mulch.
15. Water the rose bush once a week until winter arrives.
16. Spray the rose bush leaves with an antidesiccant.
17. Right before the dead of winter, wrap the entire rose bush in burlap to protect it from the cold, wind, and snow.
18. Leave the potted rose bush in the ground until next spring. Then, assuming the construction work is done, dig it up, remove the pot, and plant the bush back in its original location.

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