How to Remove Rose Bushes


Though rose bushes can be removed any time of the year, the best time depends on the climate zone and the reason for removal. Rose bushes overcome by disease should be removed immediately and the debris disposed of, not recycled. Healthy roses being removed to transplant or give away are best moved in spring in cold, northern climates or in the fall in hot, southern climates.

Step 1

Cut the rose bush back to one-third its height. Cutting the rose bush back will make it easier to move and, once it's planted, will give the roots time to establish.

Step 2

Wrap twine around the center of the rose stems and gently snug them closer together for easier handling. Note the width that the stems reach out before wrapping them together. A point straight down from the reach of the stems is the digging zone.

Step 3

Dig a circle around the rose bush equal to the reach of the outer stems. Push the shovel or spade straight down and then angle under the rose bush, getting as much of the root ball as possible.

Step 4

Tip the rose bush to one side, using the shovel to pry it up. Work a tarp or shower curtain under the root ball. Tie the tarp around the root ball at the base of the rose bush.

Step 5

Lift the root ball from the hole. The root ball can be placed in a container for transporting. Keep the root ball moist and in the shade until ready to plant if it cannot be planted immediately.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear sturdy gloves and long pants to reduce the potential of piercing by thorns.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden pruners
  • Spade or shovel
  • Twine
  • Tarp


  • Purdue University Extension: Roses
  • All American Rose Selection: Planting/How Do I Transplant Roses?
Keywords: remove roses, transplant roses, dig up roses

About this Author

Barbara Raskauskas is a certified e-learning specialist and certified Microsoft Office specialist. She has written web content, technical documents and course material for a decade. Raskauskas now writes how-to's, product reviews and general topics published on several websites, including Demand Studios.