Transplanting Roses and Peony today - need help ASAP

Fort Dodge, IA

The weather is supposed to by 90 degrees here and I have to dig up two roses and a peony today. Here is what I found and planned on doing with the roses is that really the best way to do it? Pruning them back that much is going to kill me, because I will feel like I am killing the plant.

Best thing to do for the peony?

I can leave them in containers for the summer and plant in fall, or place into the beds and shade. What ever I need to do to get them through this alive!

Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

A period of grey, rainy weather is best for transplanting in the summer but as you say, you have to move them, so...
With a really good transplant, where a large intact root ball can be lifted and moved, the plant often doesn't even "know" it's been moved. However, if you want to be cautious about it, transplanting into very large pots and then setting in the shade until planting conditions are better would work... note that this creates maintenance, as the pots will have to be watered.

Edit: The link you posted advises to cut a rose back extremely severely, to a state akin to how one receives a wintered-over rose from one of the mail order suppliers. Even the foliage is removed. Yikes! This is not necessary (and it's hard to judge the rose-growing results the blog owner gets without photos; the rose being moved in the photo is certainly not an enviable example)... You can just prune off the branches that have been damaged in the move,and then let the rose itself tell you what, if any, of the top growth can't be sustained, and prune it off later if necessary.

This message was edited Jun 10, 2012 8:43 AM

Fort Dodge, IA

Thank you! I was so scared to prune it that way, I like the idea of having the foliage there to tell me what to do. Any advice on the peony? Should I leave it potted also or put it in the ground?

Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

You could do either.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

For both the plants I would go with the advice Altagardener has given, reason I say is because you already said you are entering a really hot period and any disturbance from plants at this time really needs a bit experience to see them through the heat, normally no one would do this in summer as you rightly say, it's too hot however we cant always wait till end of summer or early spring.

Find the largest pot you can, make sure there is good drainage in the bottom and dont feed the plants this year or you will over stress them by making lots of new growth.
They will wilt a bit and look sad for maybe a week or so, but just keep watering them and shading them too and they should recover, if you get worried about the rose, remove all the flowers and any new buds to try rest the rising energy levels that they use for flowers, what you want to do is treat them like an invalid child who is raring to go but not yeat well enough to romp away.

Dont cut the Peony foliage unless it is turning brown, these plants need the foliage to die down naturally as this feeds the large tubers for flowering the following year. when you replant the Peony, make sure the tuber is JUST under the top soil as these plants need to have the tubers baked in sunshine to get lots of nice big flowers.
Good luck. WeeNel.

Fort Dodge, IA

They had just painted the house and one of the peony had been cut down to nubs. She said the plant was probably as old as the farm and was one of the original foundation plantings. "it's been around 100 years, it will be fine" So now it's in my garden and I'm watering it like a mad woman. I hope it will be OK. I think it was the only light pink one on the property.

She gave me another dark red peony, three roses, then gave me ferns and hostas that have all been there as long as the house has been standing. She said the roses have been moved before and are tough as nails, to water them really good all summer and I should be fine. I hope so because there was NO rootball so to speak. The roots of the roses had spread sideways and created more rose bushes all in a line down a path. They had a heck of a time just getting out what they got. There are so many roses she said if they all died to come back and get more!

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Now you have gave a better discription of the condition of the plants you are trying to save, then you are taking a hit / miss as to how or if they will survive in the hot summer conditions you spoke about, I would cut back the branches / stems of all the Roses to about 8 inches from the SOIL Mark at the root area, by removing this amount of stems you are removing the stress levels of the plant as it will be struggling to hold onto the foliage as the roots are deprived of moisture and soil. After that, dig then into a nice rich, manured / composted soil with added bone meal for good measures, this is a slow release feed / boost for all hardwood plants that have been in the same area of soil for many years.

As for the Peony, there is nothing you can do now the foliage has been cut away but to plant in the same conditions as given for the Rose with the exception or the Peony needs to be grown almost on top of the soil as they like there tubers to be grown and baked by the sun to get them to flower well.
You are a very luck person to be the proud owner of "Old fashioned Root stock" probably no one now grows these for commercial sale now-a-days so hope you have much luck with them and thay continue to give you, the new owners much pleasure over the years.
Best wishes and good luck. WeeNel.

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