I have roses that can be kept in the house or outside; they are in the house in pots and I just really do not know how to take care of them. Can you help me out?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Anna: If the roses you have are hardy to our gardening zone they will be much happier outdoors. Do you know what kind of roses you have? Some of the floral roses we see in the grocery stores or florists are not hardy for us here in Kentucky. Do they have the grower’s tag on them? If so it should give a hardiness zone so depending on what kind of rose you are growing, it may or may not survive our winter temperatures outdoors. If they are hardy to zone 6 or below they are fine to plant in the garden. Otherwise you will want to keep them inside. Indoors they 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. If you are going to plant these roses outdoors get them 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 holes twice as wide and just as deep as the container they are 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 the year will make this tender growth susceptible to winter damage.