Transplanting Rose Bushes: A Step-by-Step Guide

Transplanting rose bushes successfully requires planning, care and patience. But rest assured, the task can be done – and you don’t have to be a master gardener to see successful results.

Transplanting Rose Bushes: A Step-by-Step Guide

If your gorgeous roses are growing in a poor or inconvenient location – or if you’re moving and can’t bear to leave your beloved rose bushes behind – you can visit your local garden center for expert advice suited to our northern Utah growing conditions.

Or you can follow our step-by-step guide for successfully transplanting rose bushes.

Step 1: Water the Rose Bush Thoroughly for a Few Days

Rose bushes must be prepared for transplanting. To do so, water them every day during the week before your planned transplant day. Make sure to give your roses a good soak, one that keeps the ground moist at all times.

Step 2: Prepare Your Garden Bed in Advance

Before you move a rose bush, you’ll also need to prepare the new planting site. Roses thrive in fertile soil enriched with organic matter, so work plenty of compost into the garden bed.

Step 3: Prune the Rose Canes

For the best chance at a successful transplant, roses need to be reduced in size. Take a pair of garden shears or trimmers and cut the rose canes back to about 10 or 12 inches in length.

Step 4: Dig a Hole in the Garden Bed

Your next step is to dig a hole for the roses at the new planting site. As a rule of thumb, plan on digging a hole that’s about as large as the spread of the rose canes. To provide your bush with plenty of critical nutrients after it’s been transplanted, put peat moss, potting soil or other organic matter in the hole.

Step 5: Gently Remove the Rose Bush

Using a shovel, gently dig a circle about 9 inches out from the drip line of your rose bush. Keep digging down until you can easily slip the shovel under the root ball. Carefully lift it out, taking as much soil with the roots as possible.

Step 6: Plant the Rose Bush

Spread out the roots of your roses, then set the root ball in your prepared hole at the new planting site. Make sure the crown is sitting at or slightly above ground level, then fill the hole halfway with soil. Use your hands to gently push the soil through the root ball, then water thoroughly. After letting that soak in for a moment, shovel in enough soil to fill the hole and flood with water again.

Add rose fertilizer and cover with organic mulch, and you’re finished!

Transplanting rose bushes isn’t a simple, quick process – but don’t let that intimidate you. With advice and tips from the friendly Millcreek Gardens staff, any flower enthusiast can successfully move their much-loved roses.

As the leading northern Utah garden center for more than 60 years, Millcreek Gardens is the region’s go-to resource for expert information and guidance on caring for indoor and outdoor plants. If you need supplies or advice for transplanting your rose bushes, stop by our Salt Lake City plant nursery today.