How to Transplant a Rose Bush in July

Updated February 21, 2017

It is usually considered best to transplant any bush or tree in cool weather, and when the plant is dormant. While rose bushes are generally sturdy plants, they also benefit from transplanting during dormancy. But it isn't always possible to transplant at the most optimal time, and you might find yourself wanting or needing to move a rose bush in the heat of July. With some forethought and planning, you can transplant a rose bush even in the warmest months.

Water your rose bush deeply a day or two before you transplant. This will help ensure that the roots and plant are not stressed by lack of water.

Transplant your rose bush on a day that is overcast and relatively cool, as recommended by the Midwest Garden Tips website. If the day is rainy, that's better yet. Regardless of the weather conditions on the day you transplant, it is best to plant early in the morning or later in the evening, when temperatures are naturally cooler.

Dig your rose bush by using a shovel to cut a ring of soil around the plant--12 to 18 inches from the base. Keep a large portion of the roots and surrounding soil intact for the transplant, according to Arena Roses Garden Center. Midwest Garden Tips notes that if you encounter roots that your shovel cannot easily cut through, use your hand to remove some of the surrounding soil and to free the root. If the root is too long or not easily dislodged, cut it cleanly with pruners or loppers.

Dig the hole that you will transplant into. The hole should be twice the size of the root ball and the same depth that your rose bush is currently planted at.

Fill the new hole with water, letting it absorb into the soil.

Lift the rose bush out of its hole and set it onto the burlap. Try to keep as much of the soil on the root ball as possible. You may need another person to help you with this step, as handling a rose bush and a heavy root ball can be tricky.

Gathering up the burlap, and move the rose bush to the newly dug and watered hole. Settle the plant into the hole, leaving the burlap behind. Refill the hole with excavated dirt, and gently but firmly tamp the soil down around the roots.

Prune the canes of your transplanted rose bush by about one-third. This will help reduce stress to the plant as it re-establishes its roots.

Water your newly transplanted bush deeply.

Spread a 1- to 2-inch layer of mulch around the transplant area to help keep the soil cool and moist. Don't let the mulch mound up around the plant's trunk, stems and branches.


Continue to deeply water your rose bush on a regular basis. The soil should be consistently moist, but never soggy. Wait for your rose bush to show new growth before you fertilise it. Then use a 1-2-1 fertiliser, or a fertiliser made especially for roses, according to package directions.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Bypass pruners
  • Lopping pruners
  • Burlap or tarp
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Leslie Lane has been writing professionally since 2007. Her areas of expertise include landscape and garden design; trees, shrubs and perennials; plant care; and plant pests and diseases. An education in landscape horticulture from Lansing Community College is paired with several years experience working for one of Michigan's premier wholesale/retail nurseries and growing farms.