How to Transplant a Rose Bush

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on April 11, 2017

Ask This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shows how to transplant a rose bush. Click here to SUBSCRIBE to the official This Old House YouTube channel: Time: 2-3 hours Cost: $20 for fertilizer and mulch Skill Level: Moderate Tools:
Bypass pruners
Rounded shovel Steps:
1. Find a good place to put the transplanted rose bush. Rose bushes like a lot of sun, so look for spot with a lot of direct light. 2. Early spring or late fall is the best time to transplant a rose bush because it’s coming off dormancy or heading toward winter dormancy. 3. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of gloves to avoid getting hit by any thorns from the rose bush. 4. Rose bushes have a very fragile root system and during any transplant, the root ball is likely to fall apart. Because of this, it’s important to cut the limbs back on the rose bush before transplanting it. 5. Cut back the limbs by at least 50% using a pair of bypass pruners. 6. To dig out the rose bush, use a rounded shovel to draw a circle about six inches away from the roots. 7. Turn the shovel around and dig away from the root system. 8. Dig down about a foot to get under the root system of the bush. 9. Turn shovels back toward the root system of the bush and drive the blade directly under the plant at an angle. 10. Use the shovel to pry out the bush and remove it from the ground. Again, the root system will be mostly bare. You’ll want to replant the rose bush quickly. 11. Dig a hole twice as deep and twice as wide as the current root system using a shovel. 12. Fill the hole a third of the way with compost. This will allow for better drainage and the roots to grow by keeping the soil from compacting. 13. Mix more compost in with soil. This mixture will be used to backfill the rose bush. 14. Place the rose bush in the hole and make sure the soil height is high enough so the base of the plant is even with the ground. 15. Backfill the hole with the compost/soil mix using a shovel. 16. Mix liquid root growth fertilizer with water in a bucket. 17. Pour mixture all around the base of the rose bush. 18. Add more of the compost/soil mix to bring the hole surrounding the bush up to grade. 19. Water the plant twice a day for the next two days. 20. After two days, add a layer of cedar mulch around the base of the plant, but not on the roots. This will keep moisture at the roots. 21. If transplanted in the fall, be sure to trim the bush back again before the first frost and place a rose cone over the bush to insulate it through the winter months. After the last killing frost in the spring, remove the cone and the bush should be ready to grow and bloom. Follow This Old House and Ask This Old House: Facebook:

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