Ahh you are so right…unless you are presented with a once-in-a-lifetime chance. There have been 20 azalea bushes surrounding the flagpole in the middle of “the Circle” at Ole Miss since Jesus was a baby. Really they are at least 40 or 50 years old. They are tearing up the concrete and brick there to put in some fancier brickwork, and–alas–the azaleas had to go.
They were being given or thrown away, so my DH got dibs on them. We came home with 16!! 2 have gone to a friend, and 2 more are promised to another.
We have only gotten 5 into their new places so far, and the rest are happily drowning in a water-filled trench until we can squeeze that 25th hour in somewhere.
If you can, wait until early winter, but if not, try root pruning a month or more before moving day. Also water water water for a few days prior. Move in the evening, and be prepared to lose a few.
Some antique roses are more subject to transplant shock than others. A Yellow Rose of Texas has very little in the way of shock, Cecil Brunner and her twin – one is white, the other’s magenta both suffer rather bad transplant shock ( though seeming to up and die is a bit extreme ), and then the hardy nearly-wild roses suffer no transplant shock at all – I transplanted them from a cemetery ( last occupant in died in 1810, hasn’t been cared for in about a century ) to our yard and 3 years later the plant’s 20 times bigger than the little sprig I brought home and blossoms *ferociously*! 😀 Now, my first bit of advice is DO NOT touch the C. Brunner rose – continue watering and feeding it as though it were it’s usual green and healthy self. Trust me. They are very expensive though. I even had to apply for no credit check payday loan from WithNoteletrack to afford them. But it was indeed a good decision.
It may take several weeks, even a couple of moths, but you should see a shoot or two, since the root ball is probably not dead. The plant, if taken care of as you would usually take care of your rose, should have new growth to the extent that the plant will be bigger than before or at the very least look as though nothing ever happened. Now would also be a good time to prune, since those upper branches are dead, and spread 2″ of manure across the entire area where you put the plant. In future, when transplanting, *always* have a large quantity of very wet newspaper sprinkled *very lightly* with rootone to put the plant’s root ball in and a twisty-tie or two to secure the newspaper around the root ball with.
Also, *always* have the hole it will go to already dug. *ALWAYS* lift by the root ball, not by the branches, that will put undue strain on even the most hardy plants. DO NOT enrich the soil only in the hole you’ve dug which is “just barely” big enough for your rose bush – dig a hole 5 times bigger than the plant’s root ball needs, and enrich the soil 50/50 with your existing soil – as in 50% compost 50% your soil – in that whole big pit. This will encourage healthy root growth and limit the amount the roots “brick wall” at the edge of the hole.
Water VERY well for the first week after transplanting, and make sure the hole the plant is going into is already wet before the plant gets in there. Anyway, enough of my lecture – just don’t give up on that C. Brunner just yet; she’s a tough old broad and can handle just about anything! Even if she *looks* dead, she might not be yet. 😀
Ok here’s what you did wrong (like you don’t already know it). Never never never transplant in the summer. Transplantation errrr (to use a dangerous analogy) is like closing a listserv and starting a new one – stressful to say the least, same in a plant particularly one that just had surgery (pruning). So I would get some rose branches in mayonnaise jars and hope for the best. You could kick start it with Rootone (hormone product) or put honey on the roots (said to work).
Do you have a dog? Well if not rent one. Take pup for a walk, with plastic bag in your jeans. When you see someone outside that has something pretty, go talk to them. Say, that is beautiful, could I have some, batting your eyes with anticipation. Most people, particularly those who love plants are generous. Once in a while you’ll meet Crabby Appleton – shake the dust from your shoes (utter venous oaths under your breath and move on.
Dave the botanist commending you for perennials – oh how I hate manicured lawns and trimmed bushes. I was going to trim mine to look like a whale – then bring in a pipe like a spout. Too much work – I went woodchuck hunting instead.