How to Replant Rose Bushes


Established roses may eventually need to be replanted. Sometimes a rose was crowded into the wrong place because space was not available, and sometimes trees or other plants have grown larger, changing the light and growing conditions. Many gardeners take beloved rose bushes along if they move to a new home. Whatever the reason for replanting your rose bushes, you can dig them and replant them successfully.

Step 1

Select a site that will have at least six full hours of sun each day. The soil needs to be rich in humus, and well drained. Prepare the new planting site so it is ready to receive the rose bush. Dig or till the area, working in compost and bone meal. Remove old roots, sticks, stones and clumps.

Step 2

Dig the hole where you will replant the rose bush in the prepared site. It should be at least 18 inches wide and 16 inches deep. Create a mound of soil in the center of the hole.

Step 3

Dig the rose bush you want to replant. Dig in a circle with the shovel, going all the way around the rose bush, cutting through the roots as you dig. Make the circle about 18 inches from the center of the rose bush. Push the shovel down into the soil as far as you can as you circle the bush, and lift gently to work the rose bush loose. Lift the rose bush, and use the pruning clippers to make smooth cuts on the ends of the roots.

Step 4

Move the rose bush to the new planting hole. Place it over the mounded soil, gently spreading the roots down the sides of the mound.

Step 5

Replace a few inches of the soil around the roots. Water this deep layer, then add another layer of soil when the water has soaked in. Layer the soil and water two or three times. The knobby graft of a graft rose bush should be just above the soil level.

Step 6

Use deep mulch over the lower half of the rose bush if you are replanting it in the fall. If you are moving the rose in the early spring, use a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Tiller, optional
  • Compost
  • Bone meal
  • Rose bush
  • Protective gloves
  • Pruning clippers
  • Mulch


  • Relocating Roses
  • Replant roses when not dormant
  • Rose growers on replanting roses

Who Can Help

  • Purdue University, horticulture, roses
Keywords: replant rose bushes, replant roses, move rose bushes

About this Author

Fern Fischer writes about quilting and sewing, and she professionally restores antique quilts to preserve these historical pieces of women's art. She also covers topics of organic gardening, health, rural lifestyle, home and family. For over 35 years, her work has been published in print and online.