Transplant looking pretty bad...

Fori is not pleasedAugust 20, 2014

Hi all!

A while back I asked for and received some great advice about moving a large established rose into a pot to save it form the bulldozer.

It's been about 10 days and the thing appears to be doing poorly. Many of the leaves are yellowing and a few have dropped. Some are crispy but most feel okay.
It's getting full sun part of the day but I can't move it because my assistants did not realize we needed casters until it was late in the process, and it turns out there isn't a shady spot we could get it to fit (on concrete where casters would work) anyway.

Is this normal for a rose after transplanting? Is there anything I should try doing?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's the worst time of the year to transplant things...hope for the best, esp since you can't give it shade.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 5:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dublinbay z6 (KS)

Can't you rig up an umbrella like thing to give it some shade? Or some way to put a shade cloth over its head?


    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 6:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
seil zone 6b MI

Some transplant shock is to be expected. You dug it up and no matter how careful you were you lost some roots in the process. Did you cut the top back at all? If it's trying to send food and water to a very large amount of top growth with a smaller root ball that may be the problem. Trim it back by about 1/3 and see if that helps. Keep it well watered but don't try and fertilize it yet. Adding fertilizer may stress it more and not help at all. Do what Kate said and find a way to give it some shade, especially during the hottest part of the day. It should perk back up gradually. Even if it's on the ground and not concrete put it up on something to raise it off the ground and allow it to drain more freely. See if you can find one of those wheeled pot trolleys to put it on. Tip it to one side and slide the trolley under it. That will get it off the ground and the wheels will actually work on the ground.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 7:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

Thanks all. I can probably get an umbrella over part of it. It only gets a few hours of unfiltered sun, but of course that's at midday.

I trimmed it back some but I guess I should do more. It's hitting the eaves anyway. :/ But it looked so bare!

Now I'm thinking that I should have purchased an actual pot. I don't think I can slide this onto anything but I'll check the local gardening center. This "pot" does let me stake its arms. And it has been draining quite well.

Should I just lop off the left wing? Or spread out the trimming?

(That photo is right after potting--not its showiest time of year. Now it looks pretty much the same, just a little yellower. There is a large orange tree out of frame to the right that gives it dappled shade when the sun is that way.)

Gee. When you look at it like this, it's really an unattractive thing, isn't it? It was so charming against a brick-base greenhouse...

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 8:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That IS a big one! You have drainage?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 7:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I just transplanted a rose bush recently...
Wow I just noticed the pic of how big your rose is... :-O

OR the big boy umbrella:

This post was edited by jim1961 on Thu, Aug 21, 14 at 20:14

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 8:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jerijen(Zone 10)

Another way to do it is to put up long stakes, and put shadecloth over them, making a tent that will protect it from the sun.

I think that's what I would do, if it was mine.

If some of it is dying back, cut it back. As Seil said, that's a lot of plant for the poor roots to support.

Gophers got to my 8-ft-tall Ragged Robin, earlier this year, in the worst of the heat. He got cut back to about 4 ft., soaked overnight in water (the roots!), and replanted, with better gopher protection, and he's doing fine.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 12:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brittie(Houston 9a)

Wow, you need a steady slow clap just for getting that beast out of the ground!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 1:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
seil zone 6b MI

EGADS! What is that pot? It looks like the tote I keep my Christmas tree in! That is a pretty magnificent specimen to have dug up and potted. I'm sure that's why it's struggling. You probably lost a significant amount of the root ball when you dug it out and now that reduce root system is trying to feed and water way more top growth than it can. I would take off at least 1/3 of the top growth. It looks like you do have it up on blocks and that's good. You obviously can't put it on a pot trolley, lol. You'd need a fork lift to move that puppy! I think it's gorgeous and not at all unattractive. Do you have any photos of it in bloom?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 2:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

Thanks. I'll find a stool and start chopping. :) It didn't have a very big root structure somehow. It's probably doomed.

It really didn't look that tall for some reason until we put it in the giant planter. It's a livestock tank that once held fish and was converted to a snail-proof veggie planter so it has plenty of holes. Super elegant!

I don't have photos of the whole plant in full bloom, but there's about a month in the spring where it looks good; then it starts to get scruffy. Here it is just getting started...or finishing. I don't remember. And there's the pot.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 3:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jerijen(Zone 10)



    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 5:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Great looking blooms!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 2:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vasue(7A Charlottesville)

I think it's magnificent in its individuality - like an outsized bonsai - and its trough planter (brilliant idea) gives it a very French country flair. Another standing ovation to you for recognizing its unique beauty & working so hard to preserve it! I don't think it's doomed at all. I've moved some big plants, including roses in active growth, without cutting them back at all except for snipping any buds & blooms. (Also surprised at how small their roots were sometimes in contrast to their top growth, having started by digging rings around them several feet out from the trunk.) Figuring the plant will decide which branches or foliage it cannot support better than I, usually few died back & were clipped off but some leaves would shed and regrow.

You might consider shading the metal trough from the hot sun, as metal containers can heat up quite a bit even in this climate, baking roots too close to the sides in the process, making for trying conditions for a plant whose roots were previously cool. Agree with shading the rose temporarily, as with any transplant in heat. Might clip a cloth or bedsheet to the gutters & to stakes to give it and the trough a canopy that will filter the intensity of the sun. If you have a misting setting on your hose wand, might use that several times a day to mist the leaves. Shredded mulch wetted when you water would release more humidity to the branches, or sheet moss tucked across the soil & held with hairpins to keep soil from splashing in watering & insulate.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 4:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
seil zone 6b MI

Oh, fori, it looks beautiful! Look at the size of those blooms! This rose is well worth all the effort to save it.

I think I agree with vasue about shading that metal container. Cooling the roots may be all it needs to perk back up. Metal containers will get hot, that heats up the soil and will dry out the pot much quicker because of that. If the roots are too hot in there that may be the cause of the droops. That's also why I don't use the black nursery pots as permanent containers for my roses too. They hold a lot more heat than the lighter colors do and dry out much quicker.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That is worth moving. Gorgeous.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 11:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Z 7a E Tn

I know you went to a lot of trouble to save it, but I'm glad you did. It is so worth the trouble!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

Thanks! I'll do what I can and hope for the best!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 5:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Congratulations on saving that lovely rose.

I can't believe you were able to move such a monster! That is one huge specimen.

You can expect a lot of leaf drop in this weather, with such a major move. I'd cover with sheets, or whatever, as suggested, keep watered (but not over-watered) & keep your fingers crossed. I bet it will be okay. It's a beauty & looks very nice in that trough.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 8:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow!!! That's a stunner and well worth saving.

I don't think I have much to add about transplant shock except that it will grow more slowly for a while, as it grows back its root system.

This post was edited by HollyKline on Tue, Aug 26, 14 at 18:49

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 6:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am far from an expert, having just transplanted a 25 year old yellow climber from my backyard to the front yard. It was getting too much shade, almost never seeing the sun because of the spreading canopy of the tree nearby. I'd say for at least 10 years it was always shaded. I moved it in temps of 105 for several days prior to and after the move simply because it was my only window due to a busy schedule. I had previously read that you are supposed to cut it back, but stubborn me wanted to keep as much foliage as possible, so I only cut it back to about 5 ft., then commenced my digging.

Having never transplanted a rose before, I was shocked at how much rootball their was, and was totally confounded about what to do when I made that discovery. Because I already had disturbed the roots to the point of no return, I took a hose and soaked under the plant to try and soften the ground even more. In the end, I decided to just pry upward on the bottom of the plant until it broke free of whatever roots I would not dig up. I ended up chopping off what roots would not fit onto the space of the shovel, which was a lot! I bet I only got 25% of the roots, maybe less.

Then there was the matter of moving it to the new location by myself. I ended up getting a rootball that fit onto the shoo vel, held the shovel with one hand, steadied the plant with the other hand, and ran (as best as I could) to the front of the house to the new hole that was waiting. Rushing my butt off for fear of the intense dry heat drying out what was left of the intact roots, I planted in haste, soaking the hole half way into the backfill, and then soaking the entire hole again when all backfill was in and the rose was covered.

As you can see, I did everything "wrong" up to this point. But, wait, there's more! The spot I moved it to is a 3-sided nook in the brick facing of my house that is 2 ft. wide x 8 ft. deep, and 35 ft. tall, that gets blazing afternoon sun. So much so, that you cannot hold your hand on the brick for very long in 100 degree weather. Hardly the best circulation for a rose, or so they say.

Within the next few ours, the foliage started wilting, and by the next day the footage started crisping itself off, starting from the top. I had rigged drip emitters and made a 2" tall basin, so I decided I had nothing to lose by cutting off whatever was dying back, and watering the crap out of it. I supplemented the drip emitters with hose watering. I didn't even bother with testing the soil below the surface, even though I have heavy clay. Whenever the surface looked like it wasn't sopping wet I watered that thing seemingly to death.

When the last two leaves started browning at the edges, I assumed it was a goner, for sure. I told my wife the sad news, and promised her I would try to find another yellow climber to replace it.

The next morning as I headed out to go rose shopping, I caught out of the corner of my eye a new leaf bud growing! This was about 4 weeks ago, and it has been growing daily, and rapidly, ever since. It's been 5 or 6 weeks since the transplant itself.

Apparently, transplanting from full shade to sudden full afternoon sun and blazingly hot bricks on 3 sides, after butchering roots and drowning it with water in heavy clay is nothing to a rose. In fact, this climber has literally never looked better. Even though it is now only 4.5 ft. tall, all the growth looks wonderfully healthy.

Moral of the story is that going with your gut still trumps the experts sometimes, and if my experience, or lack thereof, resulted in my rose not only surviving but thriving, I am confident that your majestic beauty will definitely recover from the transplant. Now that I know what I know, if I were to do it again, the only thing I would have done differently would've been to keep as much height as possible, and simply prune what dies. In fact, I think keeping top growth serves to stimulate the plant into trying harder to support the top, thereby stimulating growth. No scientific data to back me up, but that's sure what looks like what happened to me.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 9:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Nothing to add except I love the planter! I have been looking for used ones for the same purpose and was just debating cutting a vintage ribbed trash can down since the bottom is already missing. I have 2 roses in a rusted out bent old horse trough my boss had tossed in the trash (and I fished out) It fits my

I love the way the rose looks in the planter too with all those twisted old canes. Very special.

My most recent fail attempt to move a rose, I had swiped a cutting from a mall rose that was on the sidewalk. I liked the color and it grabbed my ankle so why not. It rooted and took off, only it was determined to keep on grabbing ankles and this was a problem. So one hot sunny day I tried to dig it out, only it was in the jacaranda leaf litter so it fell right off the poor root. The new hole was hotter and drier. After a few days it had nothing but crispy leaves and I finally got around to cutting it back. Mom was sure it was dead and then the water line broke for a couple of weeks.

It is back with nice green leaves, bet it really grabs my ankles next time (guessing some type of carpet rose?)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 1:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

Thanks all. It's...not dead yet. :)

I'd have a better feeling about it if it had had more roots to move! I guess I didn't even have to remove that concrete walkway next to it.

Poor thing. It had a mate next to it but it died before I got here. Just the corpse. Fifty years ago someone lived here who did strange things to plants. There's a cotoneaster tree that looks like a giant version of that rose...

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 5:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

Just an update on the patient. It lost all but about 20 leaves that it hung onto, scattered across the entire plant. We were cautiously optimistic because it seemed determined to keep those few leaves.

Yesterday we noticed that it had started leafing out all over. That's one determined plant. Why wait until spring? Or until our endless summer stops being so darn hot? :)

Thanks for all the advice. Y'all gave that plant a chance. We just might be able to pull this off!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 11:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In my experience, roses are like weeds. Even years after transplanting one, I still have sprouts from the old location! Congratulations on yours. :-)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 1:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Great to hear fori!... :-)

I transplanted 2 roses myself recently but our climate is cooler than yours.
First tranplanted rose bush lost 80% of its leaves back in late August but it has started growing new leaves back. It took about 1 month...
Second rose bush was more recent its losing about 20% - 30% of its leaves but it is much cooler now...

But anyhow glad to hear your rose bush is coming along!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 4:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Dinglehopp3r z7A. EastTN

One: Bravo! is truly impressive that you were able to move that colossal rose, very impressive. It gives me hope for the many much smaller moves I hope to make in he near future. The unique shape of the rose combined with the unique planter really give a coordinated look that was just the perfect accident,

Two: I think I must be alone in this, but I just laughed hysterically at the photo Jim posted of the roses sitting under that rainbow umbrella. Don't get me wrong, that is an amazingly practical use of a beach umbrella, it makes so much sense, but at first glance it just looks like those roses are just having a nice little vacation on the beach. SO cute, it makes me want to move a rose bush just to do that.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 5:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Dinglehopp3r , local people & my neighbors laughed at me so your not alone...
They asked me if my roses were on

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 11:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

The vacationing roses are adorable. :)

I didn't shade this one after paying attention and seeing that the pot didn't get hot and the plant was shaded during the warmer parts of the day. And also not having a big enough umbrella!

It seems happy now. I guess it likes the attention.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2014 at 7:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

Now it's blooming. Who blooms in October?????? Not this thing....I thought...

    Bookmark   October 19, 2014 at 6:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My red climbing rose is in full bloom right now. Is it only climbers that bloom in fall?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2014 at 8:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
seil zone 6b MI

After coming out of really bad conditions and starting to put on new growth it's not unusual for a rose to bloom in your zone in the fall. I'm glad to hear it's recovered for you.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2014 at 10:12PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
DA Coupon codes
Hi, I have the following coupon code and was wondering...
annofpa zone 6b
Black Gold Natural Organic Fertilizer?
Has anyone used this with positive results? I usually...
Heirloom roses website
Hi, I've been trying to order roses from the Heirloom...
Photos won't post
I was able to post a photo from my computer last week....
Patty W. zone 5a Illinois
Soaking a bareroot rose?
I've been wondering about the best way to prepare a...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™