Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 6:43 pm
Location: Madison, MS

Hard pruning knockouts after transplant

I had three huge beaautiful doublt KOs that I had to transplant last weekend (had no choice to wait till cooler weather). They are very stressed, drooping, yellowing of leaves, etc. One in particular I realized some of the roots weren't planted deep enough adn became exposed, it looks particulary bad (I have fixed the roots).

Should I hard prune these back and let them satrt over? Or just keep watering them daily and hope they perk up?

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

I have, evidently, a different philosophy about roses than many others. I would recommend a simple (not extensive) pruning: any spindly twigs, crossing branches. But just a light pruning; not more than, say, 15% of the bush.


That rosebush is going to want to put up new growth in response to pruning. Until the roots are comfortable in their new home, any new growth will put a strain on the plant. A severe pruning will produce LOTS of new growth, and put the plant under a correspondingly greater strain: will the roots be able to uptake enough water and nutrients to nourish the new growth? Stay tuned for next week's episode...

Not the way we want to feel about our roses! Yes, there can be adventures in gardening, but this usually isn't the way we want to have them go...

I hope the root situation was "fixed" by removing the bush gently from the shallow hole, digging a deeper hole, putting some compost into the deeper hole, re-placing the rose, etc.? Ending with a slight crown of soil over the roots because the soil will settle over time? :)

Just keep watch on the plants and, yes, water them but do not water in or administer fertilizer in any way: it, too, will stimulate new growth before the roots are prepared for it.

If the weather turns hot, give the roses some shade via shadecloth (not necessarily THE brand-name Shadecloth, just something for shade during the hottest 2 or 3 hours of the afternoon--from 2:30 or 3:00 to 5:30 or 6:00) if they're still looking questionable.

Best wishes for beautiful flowers soon.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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