Rose bushes are bright, flowering gems in the garden. Their generally hardy nature makes many roses a viable option in gardens from California to the Rocky Mountains, though colder zones require more significant care for successful rose growing. Transplanting roses in the Rockies also takes some careful planning and execution.
Rocky Mountain Temperatures
According to RockyMountainNationalPark.com, temperatures in the Rockies range from under 0 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to over 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Temperatures can rise and drop quickly in a single day, and are very difficult to predict.
Rose Growing Season
Roses bushes grow and bloom from late spring to fall. During that time, they are expanding and feeding heavily, and should be left in their current locations. Transplanting roses during their growing season, and in the heat of summer, may cause extensive damage to the plants.
The late winter and early spring months, when roses are dormant, are the best times for a transplant. In the Rockies, where winter freezes make it impossible to dig up a plant during frozen winter months, transplant roses in early spring, after the ground thaws and before the roses start growing again. Choose a day that's cool and moist for the transplant, and complete the process as quickly as you can, to keep the roots of the plant from drying out.
It's important to choose and prepare a new site before starting the transplant process. Roses require full sun, especially in the cooler region of the Rockies, so choose a site that gets six to eight hours of full sun every day in the summer. Amend the soil with quick-draining soil and compost, and put a handful of bone meal in the site to support the rose bush once it's been transplanted.
Prune off the top 5 to 6 inches of growth from the bush and give it 2 to 3 inches of water before the transplant to prepare it. Dig up the rose bush's root ball and transfer it quickly to the new site. Pack soil in around the roots of the plant and water it again to help it establish.