How to Transplant a Knockout Rose


Knockout Roses are a hybrid variety of rose bred to be more resistant to bugs and diseases. According to the Knockout Rose website, the roses are self-cleaning, so gardeners do not need to deadhead them. Because of this, Knockout roses are among the most easy-to-care-for varieties of roses. Roses are among the most difficult plant to move from one location to another, according to Texas A&M University. Because of this, you must give roses extra care during transplanting.

Step 1

Time rose transplant for early spring after the danger of frost has passed, but while roses are still dormant. Dormant roses will withstand the shock of transplanting better than roses that are not dormant.

Step 2

Select a location for your new rose bushes that receives at least six hours of sunlight daily and has well-drained soil. Roses like moist soil, but will rot if they constantly haves wet roots.

Step 3

Prepare the new rose bed by breaking up the soil in the location to a depth of 12 inches with a spade. Dig organic nutrients such as peat moss and compost into the soil.

Step 4

Water Knockout rose bushes every day for a week before transplanting. Cut back the rose canes by two-thirds.

Step 5

Dig a planting hole for your rose in its new location. The hole should be 18 inches wide by 15 inches deep. Scratch a granulated, 10-10-10 fertilizer into the sides and bottom of the planting hole with a cultivating fork. Mound the excavated soil up into a mound in the center of the hole.

Step 6

Dig around your Knockout rose bush at a point 9 inches beyond the drip line of the shrub. Sever any roots you encounter with branch loppers. Dig down to a point 15 inches deep. Slip your shovel beneath the rose roots and tilt the shovel back to lift the plant free. Much of the soil will drop away from the root ball, leaving the roots exposed.

Step 7

Move the plant to the new hole and place it over the mound of soil. The mound should be high enough to lift the crown of the rose plant to a point level with the soil line.

Step 8

Fill in the hole halfway with soil. Water to dislodge any air pockets. Add more soil so that the plant is covered. Water again and mound the remaining soil over the crown of the plant. Mulch with wood chips over the soil to help hold in moisture and keep out weeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden spade
  • Garden rake
  • Peat moss
  • Compost
  • Garden hose
  • Cultivating fork
  • Granulated fertilizer (10-10-10)
  • Garden shovel


  • Texas A&M Extension: Roses: How To Plant
  • New Mexico State University Extension: Growing Roses

Who Can Help

  • Conyard-Pyle: Knockout Roses
  • This Old House: Transplanting Roses
Keywords: Knockout roses, transplanting roses, moving knockout roses

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."