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Knockout Roses

Misti Asked

I found some wild knock out roses by the railroad tracks. Can I transplant them by sticking them into new soil?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Misti: The best time to transplant a rose is during the early spring before new growth begins. It is less stressful for plants to be moved during the cooler months and less maintenance on your part in terms of watering.  Moving roses during the hot summer months is not ideal, but if this is the only option, make sure they receive sufficient moisture as they get established in their new home. Before digging up the roses, prune them back to 10-12 inches and water deeply for a few days before you plan to transplant. Prepare the new holes beforehand so they can get back in the soil as quickly as possible. Use a clean, sharp spade and start digging farther out and work your way in, being careful not to damage the roots. Keep as much of the roots/soil intact as possible. Once the roses are lifted from the soil, keep the exposed roots out of the direct sun. The less time spent out of the ground the better. Backfill with good quality soil and water well. Avoid fertilizing for the first year and treat it like any other new addition to the garden. The roses will spend their energy establishing a healthy root system so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see blooms right away. I hope this is helpful!
Angie Oakley
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