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Transplanting roses, but when? That is why it makes sense to move old rose bushes in the fall

The rose is the queen among garden and balcony plants. However, in order for it to please the eye with its filigree blossoms for a long time, proper care is crucial. Over time, the light conditions and soil conditions at the respective location can change – then you should transplant the roses. We explain why autumn is the right time to do this and how you can prepare the plants properly.

Transplanting roses: Why is it necessary to transplant rose plants?

transfer and save old roses in autumn

Roses are among the most beautiful perennial bloomers in the garden and in the container. Nowadays there are more than 150 varieties, so everyone can find the right plant. However, in order for the long-lived rose plants to feel at home, proper care plays a crucial role. This includes moving old rose plants. It makes sense to transplant the old roses when:

  • The leaves are yellowing and flowering is declining.
  • The plant is obviously no longer comfortable in its current location. For example, because it gets less than 6 hours of direct sunlight a day.
  • The soil conditions have changed in recent years. For example, the drainage at the old location is very poor and the roots of the rose may rot.
  • Other plants nearby are infested with pests (especially for roses in containers).
  • The woody plant has grown too large or the woody plant is displaced by other plants. Also, in the event that there is root competition, you should transplant the rose.

Unfortunately, roses are quite demanding and are very sensitive to a change of location. Therefore, you should be very careful to choose the right time and prepare the plant early.

When is the right time?

Transplanting roses in September what to consider

But why is autumn actually the right time for transplanting?

The right time is right after the end of the growing season and just before the beginning of the dormant season. For garden plants, that’s fall, after the end of the flowering period. For container plants, transplanting can also take place in late fall and even in winter during the dormant period, as long as they are overwintered warm.

When exactly in the fall you should move the roses? There are several rules to guide you in determining the right time.

  • It is best to leave roses that are in bloom in their old location. Only after they have bloomed can you transplant them.
  • Faded rose plants are transplanted on a cool, cloudy or rainy day to avoid the stress of drying out the roots.
  • If you have no other choice and must transplant the rose on a sunny day, it is best to do it early in the morning or late in the evening when it is cool.
  • If you transplant the rose early in the morning, then you should protect the plant from the sun for the next few days. For this purpose, an old curtain works well.

Transplanting roses: Some basic rules

roses transplant useful tips for autumn

1. choose a suitable location and prepare the place in the garden for the rose plant. The new place in the garden should have some

  • Sunlight: First, observe the light conditions at the new location in the course of a week – will the rose get enough direct light daily?
  • Soil condition: Take a soil sample and send it to the laboratory. Roses prefer a humus-rich soil with a high clay content. However, good drainage is an absolute must – if necessary, you need to work coarse-grained sand into the soil. Immediately before planting, you should also loosen the soil with a shovel and make it more airy. If the garden soil lacks important nutrients, then you can improve it with organic compost. In the fall, however, you can do without additional fertilizing.
  • Transplant directly: Prepare everything a day before transplanting, so that it can then go quickly. You need to dig up the rose plant and put it directly into the new hole. While doing this, cover the roots with a damp cloth so that they damage the sun or dry air.

Prepare the roses for transplanting

Relocate roses in the garden change of location tips


You have chosen a suitable new location, now you need to slowly prepare the rose for the move. To do this, proceed as follows:

  1. Water the roses extensively the day before transplanting. If the roots get full, then you can dig them up much easier. Also, the soil can dry up a bit by the next morning and will no longer stick to the roots.
  2. Try to protect the roots as much as possible when digging. Take your time digging and leave the soil on the roots. Avoid shaking the roots or pulling the woody plant hard.

No pruning before transplanting

Transplanting roses in the garden useful tips for autumn

Many amateur gardeners believe that maintenance pruning is necessary before transplanting. This is to make it easier for the woody plant to get used to the new location. However, we do not recommend this. This is because the leaves provide useful nutrients to the plant. If you cut them off , then the rose will be even more stressed. Therefore, it is best to replant it first, let it recover for about a week. Then you can cut off only dead parts of the plant and possibly shorten only the tips of shoots.