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Can I transplant an old rose bush?

Question submitted by FAQ

I have removed old rose bushes which have long, thick roots. Will they survive when I transplant them?

Garden Expert:

Mr. Engelbert Kötter

Mr. Engelbert Kötter

GARDENA Garden Expert Germany

The answer

As a rule, roses which are older than twelve years are not worth the effort of transplanting. The older the rose gets, the less probable it is that the rose will recover. As you described, roses are deep-rooting plants with strong roots. When digging them out, it is difficult to get all of the roots, especially the important fine roots at the end of the thick roots. These fine roots are important for taking in the nutrients. So what you can do is to put the roses into lose, moist soil, without fertiliser but with some lime. Earthen up the rose stem for six to eight weeks. If you're lucky, the rose will get used to the new spot and grow again.