I moved a rose and it doesn't seem too happy

danyoni(z10Los Angeles)March 13, 2013

Hello everyone,

I have a Sheila's Perfume that is about 6 years old and it grows to around 6 feet every summer. I love the bush and the rose, but it long ago outgrew its allotted space at the front of the bed and needed to be moved to another part of the garden. We moved it in late January about a month after pruning and, since then, it seems to be frozen. It was already leafing out when we moved it and, while just a few leaves died, the vast majority of the growth on the bush looks healthy. It just isn't growing! All my other roses in the garden are ready to bloom, but this one looks just as it did 6 weeks ago. Is it just in shock? Is there anything I should do to help it along? I gave it some alfalfa and some compost mulch, same as all of my other roses, shortly after it was moved.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Probably all you need is patience--as the roots work hard to grow and spread and establish the rose. By the end of the summer, it should be blooming right along with all the others.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 7:28AM
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What Kate said makes a lot of sense, Holly. A newly transplanted rose will reestablish its root system before putting out new leafy growth. And this is as it should be. The bush would not have the necessary plumbing, as it were, to take up water when the weather gets hot. If your rose had started pumping out new leaves on top before the roots had settled in, poor Sheila and her Perfume would not be able to cope with the warmth--and then the heat--that we know is coming to Southern California this summer.
Hopefully you were able to get a sizeable root ball with the plant when you moved it. As long as you keep it well watered (but not boggy), it should rebound just fine. The only other suggestion I'd make is to be sure it's well mulched. You want to make sure those new surface roots don't cook.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 8:21AM
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I had to move a two year old PJP II in January as I didn't think it was getting enough sun. I tried to keep as much of the rootball as I could. It was one of the last to leaf out in it's new spot but is now catching up with the rest. As your plant is still looking healthy and green you should be fine.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 11:00AM
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Yes they take a while to be back to the old rose they used to be. Be careful on the watering because I have rotted out some moved roses by keeping the soil too wet at first. The test will be when the warm weather comes, sometimes the rose does not have enough fine roots to keep up with the loss of moisture from the leaves. Watch the weather and if it's going to be very warm or dry and windy, you might put a beach umbrella up over it just in case for a few days and put your hand down in the soil to make sure there the soil is moist. Be sure to use plenty of mulch and you should be fine.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 11:26AM
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Even though it's "winter", no one told Southern California that. It's been too warm and far too dry. Sheila is a BIG girl, particularly in our endless summer climate. She has lost a lot of "digestive tract" in the move. What everyone else has advised is right on target. As long as she doesn't appear angry at you for moving her, just keep her watered and stand back. I would not add anything other than water until she shows you she has replaced the eliminated roots. Very often, "tonics" provided to help, place extra stresses on a teetering plant, pushing them over the direction you didn't intend. She should be just fine...as long as you just keep her properly watered. . Kim

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 1:51PM
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seil zone 6b MI

It's probably just sulking. Keep it adequately watered and give it some time to recover and it should be fine. Some roses will bounce back right away others just take a little longer. And the size of the root ball you were able to move makes a difference. The more root ball with the least amount of disturbance the quicker the rose will recover.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 5:31PM
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danyoni(z10Los Angeles)

Thank you everyone for your responses. I will water and wait.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 3:53PM
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alameda/zone 8

Years ago when I was a few weeks from having my baby, my new rose beds were finished and the roses HAD to be moved - in July in Texas. They were planted in raised beds in well rotted mushroom compost. I watered them daily. Not a one died - they all thrived like they had never been moved. I missed several days after my son's birth but got back at it as soon as I could.......they thrived until we moved 10 years later. I am no expert.......but I think the continual watering kept them going. As beds were raised, they didnt sit in water. I would be patient - the rose is probably forming roots and you cant see that, and not showing alot of top growth. I am no expert, but I always remembered how well my roses did during a stressful move because of my attention to watering.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:10PM
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peachiekean(z10A CA)

I give my transplants about a year and half to settle in. If it's green that's good! Just keep it watered, especially with the warm weather. I transplanted a rose to a better spot just this winter and then neglected watering enough and so it croaked. Shame on me.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:27PM
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danyoni(z10Los Angeles)

Again, thank you everyone for the good advice. It certainly seems like the consensus is that what I am seeing is totally normal. I will miss her blooms, however, in the immediate future. She was NEVER out of bloom and could always be counted on for something to bring inside, even if her blooms didn't last too long in the vase. On the other hand, the place she vacated looks 1000% better. She was almost completely blocking a fully grown sego palm which we are now enjoying again and I have replaced her there with 3 Lady Emma Hamiltons, an Austin that I had fallen in love with last year after purchasing one. Hopefully they will stay close to the 4 feet height that the catalog promises, though in this climate the Austins can be a little too happy. Hope I don't end up having to move them, too, a few years down the line!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 6:31AM
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