How to Replant a Rose Bush


Rose bushes show off their colors when intermixed with other plants like dusty miller or sweet alyssum. Even a single rose bush in the garden can be a vision of beauty. If you need to replant a rose bush, the best time to do so is while the plant is dormant and the ground is not too frozen to dig, which could be in late winter or early spring.

Step 1

Water the plant thoroughly the day before the planned transplant date. Being fully hydrated can help reduce transplant shock. The day of the transplant, prune the rose. The rose bush should be placed in its new location at the same depth it is now, so take a look at the base of the bush to see how it is setting in the ground.

Step 2

Dig the new hole before you remove the plant. Dig the hole 24 inches wide and 15 inches deep. Place the dirt in a wheelbarrow or on a tarp. Mix in organic material (compost or leaf mold from home, or a store-bought organic compound). Add about 10 percent organic material to already rich, humus soil (dark, easy to break soil). Add 25 to 50 percent organic material to partial or all clay soil (light colored soil that clumps).

Step 3

Wrap twine around the rose bush to cinch the branches together slightly. Do not force the branches to the point of breaking. Wrap canvas around the cinched bush and secure the canvas with twine. Wrapping the rose bush before moving it will reduce possible damage to the bush and to you.

Step 4

Dig around the rose bush about 9 inches out from the outermost branch. Dig down to a depth of 15 inches. Use the shovel to get underneath the rose bush to lift it out. Cut any roots that may prevent the removal of the rootball.

Step 5

Transport the rose bush to the newly dug hole using a wheelbarrow or tarp if necessary. You may even be able to use the shovel like a sled to pull the rose bush to its new location. If the dirt remained intact on the roots, then place it in the hole, adding or removing bottom soil to raise the rose bush to the same level it was before. If the dirt fell off the roots, the return some of the mixed soil to the hole, creating a cone shape in the center of the hole. Position the rose bush over the point of cone and spread its roots, making sure the crown, where the roots meet the trunk, is at the same level as it was before.

Step 6

Backfill the hole to half full and then water. Finish backfilling the hole. Water slowly and deeply. Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch. Water every 10 days through the growing season if there's no heavy rainfall.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruners
  • Organic material
  • Twine
  • Canvas
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow


  • This Old House: Transplanting Roses
  • All American Rose Selections: Planting
  • National Gardening Association: Transplanting Roses

Who Can Help

  • How to Prune Rose Bushes
Keywords: rose bush, rose, replant a rose bush

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.