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How to Temporarily Transplant a Rose

This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook relocates a mature rose bush to keep it safe while exterior construction work takes place

In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook relocates a mature rose bush to keep it safe while exterior construction work takes place.

Steps:

1. Use jute twine to tie the canes of the rose bush to a wooden trellis.

2. Trim the rose bush to 6 to 8 feet tall using bypass pruning shears.

3. Dig a 24-inch-diameter hole around the rose bush with two transplanting shovels. Cut straight down with the shovels to sever the outer roots. Then dig in at an angle and use both shovels to pry the bush from the hole.

4. Use 1¼-inch drywall screws to fasten two 30-inch-long stakes to the inside of a 24-inch plastic pot.

5. Mix together topsoil, compost, sand, and rose fertilizer.

6. Add 6 to 8 inches of the soil mixture to the plastic pot.

7. Lift the rose bush and trellis and set them into the pot.

8. Fill the pot with soil mixture, then screw the trellis to the 2x4 stakes.

9. Carry the potted rose bush to its new, safe location.

10. Dig a hole as deep as the pot and a little wider. Set the potted rose bush into the hole.

11. Backfill around the plastic pot with the excavated soil.

12. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with water, then add liquid organic fertilizer and mix well.

13. Pour the diluted fertilizer into the pot around the rose bush.

14. Insulate the base of the rose bush with 12 inches of bark mulch.

15. Water the rose bush once a week until winter arrives.

16. Spray the rose bush leaves with an antidesiccant.

17. Right before the dead of winter, wrap the entire rose bush in burlap to protect it from the cold, wind, and snow.

18. Leave the potted rose bush in the ground until next spring. Then, assuming the construction work is done, dig it up, remove the pot, and plant the bush back in its original location.