There are times in a rose garden when there is a need to be replaced either by the death of a plant, poor performance, or the desire to plant a new variety. Unfortunately there must be steps taken before replacing with new roses to avoid the possible loss or stunted growth of the plant for several years.

When an old rose is removed there are many small rose roots left behind in the soil which leave what is thought to be ‘toxin’ in the soil. This ‘toxin’ prevents new root growth of a rose for many months, even years. Unless all the roots are removed a new rose planted will be stunted for several years or die

To avoid this problem we have several solutions.

  1. Time. If possible leave the soil to be replanted for a period of at least 12 months. This allows the remaining rose roots to naturally break down and the ‘toxins’ leached away. Over this time add to the area some animal manure, compost or new soil, all dug to a fork depth, water well, and let the soil rest. Turn the soil over once more nearer to planting time. Annuals or vegetables can be planted in the meantime. The soil will now be well prepared for new plants.
  2. Replacing Soil. If replacing only one or two roses, remove the old plant with as many roots as possible, plus an extra 2 buckets of soil from the old rose area. Replace with fresh garden soil from an area free from roses. The old soil can still be used elsewhere in the garden. Often called ‘rose sick soil’ the new rose will not tolerate any old rose roots remaining in the root zone. Plant a new rose into this fresh soil in the usual way.
  3. Soil fumigation. In certain situations it may be possible to call a soil fumigation company to fumigate all the soil. This is really only an option for those with lots of money, little time for a rose-less area, or large areas to replant. This option is normally only for councils, landscapers or corporations wishing to finalise a garden in a short time frame.