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I moved a Rose - it’s now sulking badly. Help Please!

pippippippip Posts: 24

Hello all,

I planted this climbing rose (Gertrude Jekyll) a year ago late winter/early spring.  But then I needed to move it slightly - just a few inches a away from the wall and angle it differently - which I did a few weeks ago.  I know I left it a bit late and lo and behold it is well and truly sulking and looks awful! 

Is there anything I can do to help it?  Will it recover on its own ? Should I cut it back.

I’ve been watering it.

Also, should I cut out some of those canes? If so how many / how many should I leave?


  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,299
    Did you prune it last month,I would try to keep in as sheltered as possible from sun,wind,frost plenty of water,did you prepare planting hole properly?
  • OmoriOmori North YorkshirePosts: 1,659
    It’s probably going to lose all or most of the leaves. I wouldn’t remove canes, it should recover but it might take its sweet time. You can spritz the canes with water to help it along in the meantime. I moved a Mme Alfred Carriere that responded much the same way, last year. It didn’t do much of anything until this spring, I assume it was getting resettled below ground, but it has now put on a lot of lovely growth. GJ is a pretty tough rose. 
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    Make sure it has loads and loads of water (buckets) and keep that going through the summer.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,299
    It's a bit late now but when ever I have to move a plant,I remove it with a large chunk of soil,stick it in a pot with some compost,put in the shade water well, find this works much better than straight into the soil, assumed you used microrhiza fungi and compost
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,299
    Forgot I leave in the pot for a few days
  • pippippippip Posts: 24

    Hi -thank you all for your speedy responses!

    No, I didn’t prune it last month.  I planted it earlier in the year before when dormant as a bareroot, I think it had three canes then. The planting hole was properly prepared and it put on growth and flowers last year.

    I think I moved it too late  (I moved it just a few inches from the wall and to the left ) and disturbed the fine feeding roots, prevented it from taking up water…?


    That’s very good to hear.  It’s fine if it looses it’s leaves and I don’t mind waiting however long for it to recover.  I’m keeping it well watered but will spritz it’s leaves as well - will do it early morning / evening.

    Assuming it recovers and will grow more canes from the base - how many canes should I keep it to ? Or I just remove if it looks congested?

    Just gone out and watered it again…also some Rose Clear as noticed some green aphids at tips.

  • Having moved it you need to give it time to regrow its roots, which were probably damaged by the late move--they would have developed by that time. The advice with newly planted roses is to let them grow without major pruning for 3 years, then start pruning properly. Yours will need at least a year to recover, so I would advise against any pruning at all until you see proper healthy top growth, which may not be until next year. And then, prune only minimally (for example to remove dead growth) for the next couple of years.

    It's always a good idea in any case, when you move a shrub like this, to prune back the top growth so its roots can support what's left.
  • pippippippip Posts: 24

    Thanks for your advice, very helpful.

    I knew there was a risk when moved it as late as I did.   It was on my “to do” list and I meant to do it much earlier when it was dormant but other things kept cropping up.

    I’m an utter twit for letting it slide!

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