Q: Help! The most beautiful rose I have ever seen is across the street and I don’t know it’s name. It is a climbing rose and has been neglected for the last fifteen years, yet continues to bloom with more petals per rose than I have ever seen.
Here is my question. How do I move it from my neighbors yard to mine? I have never transplanted anything in my life but this plant has been offered and I need to act right away. Please try to help me if you can.
A looooooooog time subscriber.
A: Oh, you need to move it right away, huh? You sure this is legit? Here at the Grumpy Gardener, the seat of horticultural integrity and everything this is right and pure, we don’t cotton to rose rustlers, missy.
However, since you are a loooongtime subscriber, we will give you the benefit of the doubt. Because the rose is blooming now, this means it is a repeat bloomer. This is good, because if you have to prune it to move it, you’ll still get flowers next year. Pruning a spring-blooming climber in fall is a no-no, unless Morticia Addams is your decorator.
OK, follow these steps.
1. Use twine or cord to tie together the long rose canes as best you can. I’m betting the rose is thorny, so use gloves. Wrap the cord around the outside of the canes from one end to the other, and then pull tightly and make a knot. Think of it like hog-tying a prisoner. This gets the canes up out of the way and makes it easier to dig and move the rose. If you have to shorten some of the canes to move the plant, OK.
2. Water around the base of the plant so that the soil won’t fall away from the roots when you move the rose.
3. Dig as big as root ball as you can. This is critical. I would think it would need to be at least 18 inches wide and 10 inches deep. Be careful not to break the ball when you lift it from the ground. Place it on a tarp or sheet of plastic that you can slide across the ground or lift into a wheelbarrow to move.
4. As soon as you replant the rose, water it thoroughly. Keep the soil ball moist until the plant goes dormant this fall.
Grumpy (a loooongtime writer)
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