How to Transplant a Rose Bush


Roses are treasured in home gardens because they add both color and fragrance to the landscape. Rose bushes live for many years--thriving for decades if given the proper care. Over the course of time, it may be necessary to move and transplant a rose bush to a new area. Roses are susceptible to shock, so you must take care not to damage the bush. Transplant roses in fall or early spring, when the plant is dormant and not actively growing, to minimize shock to the rose bush.

Step 1

Water the rose bush thoroughly before transplanting. Wet the soil to at least a 12-inch depth.

Step 2

Dig an 18-inch deep hole in the new planting area. Make the hole 12 to 15 inches wide.

Step 3

Prune the rose bush before digging, using a pair of clippers. Cut back the rose to 18 to 24 inches high and remove any dead or damaged wood completely.

Step 4

Dig around the rose bush approximately 10 inches out from the stem. Dig down below most of the roots then slide the spade under the root ball. Lift the rose bush out of the soil.

Step 5

Set the rose bush into the new planting hole and spread out the roots. Adjust the plant until it is sitting at the same depth in the new hole that it was at previously.

Step 6

Fill the hole back in half way. Fill the hole with water and wait for it to drain, which pushes out any air pockets around the roots. Finish filling the hole with soil then water a second time.

Tips and Warnings

  • Bright sun can cause stress to the rose right after transplanting. Transplant on an overcast day to prevent this.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Clippers


  • Purdue Cooperative Extension: Roses
  • New Mexico State University: Growing Roses
Keywords: transplanting rose bushes, rose plant care, moving roses

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.