The Best Time to Transplant a Rose Bush

Avoid transplanting roses when they are in full bloom.
Avoid transplanting roses when they are in full bloom. (Image: Rose Rose image by Jan Wowra, Frankfurt from

Roses are not the delicate flowers we make them out to be, but moving them at the right time makes their transition easier. When to transplant often goes hand in hand with the bush's pruning requirements.

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Time Frame

Roses will be less stressed by a move during their dormant season--fall and winter. November through February is ideal, depending on the gardener's area. There is no need to plant after the ground is frozen or while it is very hot.

Planting during these months means that liquid root stimulator, applied to the rose bush during watering, will have time to work before summer's high temperatures. This product helps avoid transplant shock.

Water Needs

When a rose bush is transplanted, water is of the utmost importance. The plant has fewer roots, and cool weather allows soil around them to remain moist for longer, so there is less maintenance. A thorough watering twice or three times a week is sufficient.


People have differing opinions on whether to prune a rose before transplanting. Some prefer to let foliage be burned back naturally and others see pruning as conserving nutrition for the roots. If the rose is to be pruned, it should be done within a day or two of a move.

Pruning influences when people move their roses, because it encourages plants to grow tender leaves. Those in cold climates may wait until the end of winter when the ground has thawed. In warm climates, people often move roses at the beginning of fall, because any growth burned by frost will have a chance to recover before spring.


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