Forum home Problem solving

Moving rose bush - chances of success?

I planted a couple of rose bushes in less than ideal spots 2 years ago, thanks to inexperience and lack of research. I'm thinking of moving them in spring but am nervous about doing so.
From what I've read, it's possible to move rose bushes of this age but in reality,
what do you think is the risk of an inexperienced gardener doing this? I'm afraid of doing something wrong like cutting away too much of its roots or disturbing the adjacent bush (planted too close).
Also, is it possible to move a rose bush just 2-3 feet away from its current spot? Is that effectively replanting it in the same spot (risking rose replant disease)?
Thank you.


  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,877
    I'd do it soon rather than wait til Spring. Any time when the ground isn't frozen or waterlogged. It will be fine, keep as much root as you can and if you damage a piece, cut it off cleanly. Also if the bush has a lot of branches cut it back to any bud so it doesn't have to work too hard to support the top and to prevent wind rock
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,455
    I've done it. Dig out as much root as you can, some are easier than others, and plant it straightaway into a hole that you have prepared. They will hardly know you've done it as they are dormant in winter. Give them quite a hard prune.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Thank you both for the tips. Do you think it's fine to replant one of them just a couple of feet away from its current spot or should I play it safe and find it a spot much farther away?
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,877
    They've not been there long, a couple of feet will be fine

  • Thank you. That's a relief as I would prefer not to move it too far away.
  • CatDouchCatDouch South Devon Posts: 173
    I moved the same rose twice 🙈 Once during the winter when I was fairly sure it would be fine but the second time it was during the summer in full flower as we were having a full redesign of that area.  I couldn’t believe it but it survived and is probably my healthiest, glossiest rose and has got a bud on it even today! So I’m sure yours will be fine 😀
  • Thanks, @CDouch . It's re-assuring to know that the chances of survival are good.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,559
    I’ve lost count of the amount of roses I’ve moved, to no ill effect. Always in winter when dormant, as busy-lizzie says, they don’t even notice and a couple of feet away is fine.

    The thing about planting in the same hole or very nearby is to avoid something called Rose Replant Disease - but even then, you can still plant a new rose in the same hole if you change the soil (swap it with rose-free soil from another part of the garden). Some rosarians say you don’t have to worry about RRD until a rose has been there for at least 5 years, some say after 2.

    If I am planting another in the same hole I tend to change the soil and sprinkle some michorrizal fungi on the roots of the new rose just to be on the safe side, but I do a fair amount of swaps and that’s probably just paranoia anyway 😆 
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 11,020
    Glad someone asked this question as l have a rose "Duchess of Cornwall" which is now right at the edge of a flowerbed as l reduced the size of the bed.
    It's a lovely rose and very healthy , l have just been out pottering around and was looking at it trying to decide what to do for the best. I wasn't sure if now was a good time to do it.
    Now all l have to do is decide where to move it to  :) .
  • thevictorianthevictorian Posts: 730
    It's interesting to see the normal (and what I believed) advice of cutting it back once you have moved it but I did see Jason at Fraser Valley Roses explain this isn't always best with the latest thinking. The idea is that keeping the extra material feeds new roots quicker, rather than hinder the plants. I think it's an interesting idea and not sure if it makes a difference which season you move the rose in. I certainly don't think a quick prune is particularly detrimental, going by all the past experiences, but thought I'd mention it incase someone was interested.
Sign In or Register to comment.