Transplanting roses for Mother’s Day

Give roses for Mother's Day. Learn some tips about transplanting roses to ensure your success.

There is one thing we can all agree on and that is that roses grow beautifully in the Pacific Northwest. They add fragrance to our gardens and make the perfect centerpiece. Not to mention, roses are a very nice gift for Mother’s Day.

When it comes to transplanting roses, there are a few key points that will help protect the rose from transplant shock.

The best time for transplanting roses is in the fall, just after they have lost their petals, or late winter while they are still dormant. However, if you water them well (especially the day before transplanting), roses can be moved at almost any time of the year…including Mother’s Day.

There are products available that improve your chances of success with transplanting rose bushes. We have had success using BioPlex on all our transplants. Visit for more information on BioPlex and how it can benefit you when transplanting roses and other plants.

And don’t forget to fertilize your roses. You have seen the primary elements NPK on your fertilizer bag, but do you know how they help with transplanting?

  • N = Nitrogen is used in the green chlorophyll molecule and primarily feeds green leaves. That’s why lawn fertilizers are high in N (like 15-5-10).
  • P = Phosphorous is useful for flower production. You will notice that many rose fertilizers are higher in Phosphorous (like 5-10-5).
  • K = Potassium is helpful in promoting root growth.

After transplanting roses, make sure to select a fertilizer that has a good balance of all nutrients (like 14-14-14) to assure each part of the rose will have the food it needs to re-establish itself.

The process of transplanting roses is a bit different from transplanting other plants. Some say it is important to prune a rose bush before moving it, other say wait until after transplanting the roses and watch to see what parts of the plant wilt and die.

If you choose to prune the rose bush before transplanting, you should cut to about nine inches from the base of the rose and just above a leaf. Try to keep the cut clean and at a 45-degree angle. Then remove the leaves and stems so all that is left are the main stalks.

If you desire a less aggressive approach, and decide to wait for the rose to settle into its new home before cutting it back, you will notice the tips of the branches will eventually die and need to be removed.

Regardless of the method you choose for transplanting roses, one known fact is consistent…roses need lots of water! Water the new hole generously before introducing the transplanted plant. Transplanted roses need to be watered heavily before transplanting and for several months after being moved. For this reason, it makes sense for those who live in the Pacific Northwest to transplant roses in late winter to take advantage of our consistent spring rains.

If you wish to give a rose bush to Mom for Mother’s Day, remember these tips for transplanting roses and you’ll have beautiful roses to enjoy all summer.

Category: Tips for Planting

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