Transplanting Knock Out® Roses
Much like the interiors of our homes, our gardens sometimes need a little rearranging. Perhaps the color combination is wrong, a plant isn't happy in its current location or you just want to make a change. Moving established plants takes elbow grease and planning, but there's really nothing to it. This is especially true of Knock Out® roses. More vigorous than some other roses, there is little to fear when transplanting this shrub.
When to Move Knock Out® Roses
The best time to move a rose is in late winter or early spring while the plant is dormant.
Prepare the Planting Hole First
Dig the hole twice as big as it needs to be to fit the root ball. This will give you room to spread out the roots and add soil amendments to the bottom of the hole. If your root ball is 18 inches, make the hole 24-inches wide. Ditto on the depth.
When moving any plant, always try to keep as much of the root system as you can. Use a sharp, narrow shovel to cut around the perimeter of the shrub and remove as much of the root ball as possible. Often the soil may fall away from the roots, but that is okay. The plant will be fine.
It is handy to have a piece of burlap around to use as a sling to transport the rose to its new location.
Make a pile in the bottom of the planting hole with a 50:50 mix of garden soil and compost. Place the rose on the pile and spread out the roots. Make sure that the soil level is the same that it was in the previous location. Planting too deep can actually kill many plants.
Back fill the planting hole with the soil and compost mix. Spread an organic, all-purpose fertilizer around the base of the rose. The package will indicate the proper amount. Water in and add more soil if needed. Top with mulch, making sure to keep the mulch away from the base of the shrub.
Caring for Your Newly Transplanted Rose
Once the rose is in its new location, it needs to be pruned back about 50 percent.