Transplanting Roses

rlmealsMay 8, 2012

So I should have researched this before I did it, but I didn't, so now I just need to know if I can fix it! I had a rose bush whose roots were getting tangled up with the stump of a mimosa tree. We're trying to remove the mimosa tree, so I was trying to free up the rose roots from it. I managed to do that, but part of the root broke off. There is still a quite substantial amount of root left.

The thing is, I was trying to save the rose so it wouldn't get destroyed when we removed the mimosa, because they belonged to my husband's grandmother, and my FIL said I couldn't kill it. As soon as I got it out of the ground, I moved it to another site I had prepared by digging a deep enough hole, and then I covered it with dirt and poured water with epsom salt over the new site.

Now the rose bush looks like it's dying. All the leaves and petals have withered. They look like a dozen roses when the water in the vase dries up and they start to turn brown and brittle.

I'm sure now that I did this incorrectly, there is no question about that. The question now, is can I fix this? Is it just transplant shock, or something like that? Or have my good intentions backfired?

Thanks for any advice.

PS: I tried to search the forum before I posted this, but when I clicked the link it said "page could not be found." I'm not sure if it's my computer or your website, but I DID try!!! So sorry if the question has been answered, I couldn't use the search feature.

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ilovemyroses(8 Dallas TX)

whenever i move a rose, i give it a major pruning. at least half, or more, and take out any canes i can do without. take half the leaves out of what is left, and just know, at this time of year. it will not look good for quite some time. i mulch and water it well, and if i feel it can take it, i give it some root stimulator. and i keep an eye on it for quite some time. and, other than a dainty bess i think i wanted to kill....most of mine make it just fine, even in the heat of summer if watered well, etc.

so, that is what i recommend...imho. a BIG OLE pruning job and root stimulator and let it recoup!! good luck!

i don't know anything about the epsom salts...what is that about? i just don't know that routine!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 9:32PM
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wanttogarden(USDA 9b, Sunset 15, N. Calif.)

My experience with transplanting a non dormant rose with disturbed/damage root ball:

Their ability to extract water from soil has been compromised, they drink water like a cut flower. Water it few times a day and/or when wilted. Do not rely on soil moisture. A make shift shade/ sun protector may be useful too. After root system reestablishes, (wilting will decrease), feed it with very week liquid fertilizer; about 1/3 to 1/4 of strength every few weeks for a while. You and your rose should be fine.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 11:46PM
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catsrose(VA 6)

I have moved many non-dormat roses, much as you have, and last year I bought a bunch of Euro-Desert's transplants during the summer. They were all treated the same way. Most have made it; some did not. I have no idea what goes right or wrong. But I wish you the best of luck. You should cut it way back, as suggested and you should try rooting some of the cuttings.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:25AM
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Thanks y'all!!! So there IS hope! I will do all of these things and pray for the best! Now...if I can only lie through my teeth with confidence that I promise it will be just fine, when my FIL asks about it ;-) Ha ha!!!

Thank you for helping out a newbie, I really do appreciate it!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 4:27PM
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I'm notorious for moving roses -- they look like hell for a while, plenty of wilted leaves, some die back. Gotta keep watering every day for at least 2-3 weeks (as long as you have draining soil), then still every day, every other day for another couple of weeks, then you can start treating more normally. This happens even when I move in the spring before growth has taken off. Don't give up!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 7:44AM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

No more epsom salts or any other fertilizers. Just water until you see new growth.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 9:47AM
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Give it some time. A bit of shade from the direct sun every day would be helpful.

Rose bushes are tough and want to live. All is not lost.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:15AM
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