I have a rose that is needing help. It is in a pot and I have been keeping it inside since the weather started getting cooler. The stems look like they are dying on the lower half but the upper half is still green and healthy looking, and I have noticed there is new growth on the bottom half of the stems. I’m wondering what I should do to keep it alive.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Carla: If your rose is putting on new growth it sounds healthy. Sometimes older woodier growth has a darker color than the new growth so it would make sense that the newer growth is more green in color than the lower older growth. Did you bring the rose indoors because it is not hardy? You are gardening in zone 6, so if you still have the grower’s tag take a look to see the hardiness zones your rose will grow in. If the tag indicates 6 or below you should plant the rose outdoors. These roses benefit from going through a dormancy period each winter. If the grower’s tag says the hardiness zone is 6 or above it is what we call a floral rose and it will not survive our winter temperatures outside. Indoors it will prefer to grow in a south-facing window or any brightly lit room. Since the light levels are lower during the winter months all indoor plants require less food and water. Let the soil dry out before adding additional moisture and cut back on your fertilizer. Do not be surprised if your rose does not bloom during the winter months. If you are going to plant the rose outdoors get it in the ground as soon as possible. The temperatures are dropping quickly and you want the roots to get settled in before winter arrives. Dig your hole twice as wide and just as deep as the container it is growing in. Back fill with the existing soil and add a thin layer of mulch, no more than 2 inches to help protect the roots. Initially you will want to water but since the temperatures are cooler you do not need to water like you would in the spring or summer. Avoid fertilizing because encouraging new growth at this time of year will make this tender growth susceptible to winter damage. Make sure to choose a sunny location for your rose. It will be happiest with a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight each day.