The Q&A Archives: Growing Miniature Roses Indoors

Question: In August a got an indoor miniature rose. It lost all its leaves and now it doesn't seem to be coming back. Do I let it go dormant or do I encourage it somehow to get it going again? I need to know about feeding and or any help would be appreciated.

Answer: It is sometimes challenging to grow miniature roses indoors. Generally you can expect a cycle of blooms every 6-8 weeks. Place your rose on a window ledge where it will get sun for part of the day, but will not be subjected to intense heat. Temperaturesshould remain in the range of 60 - 70 degrees F. New plants do not require feeding right away, but yours is probably due for some nutrition in the form of regularly applied dilute solution of seaweed fertilizer or fish emulsion. (However, if your plant has lost all its leaves and shows no sign of new life, it may be too late to save it/)<br><br>If your tap water is hard--contains lots of dissolved minerals--you may start to see a build up of salts on the pot. If you do, you might consider watering with distilled water. Some growers place the pots in a shallow dish containing gravel that is kept constantly moist. This provides a constant source of humidity, without subjecting the roots to excess water. When your plant has finished flowering, it does needto "rest". Cut back on the fertilizer, though continue to water it as necessary, and move it to a spot where it gets a bit less sunlight. When you see growth begin again, move it back to its usual spot, and resume feeding. Repot your rose into a larger container as it grows bigger. You can also consider placing it outdoors on a deck in the pot in summer and bringing it indoors each fall. In the summer time, many miniature rose growers (who use containers) suggest an annual 2 month dormancy period in the hottest summer months. Strangely enough, many successful growers suggest placing the plant in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator for this period. After the 2 months, it is removed, cut back to one half it's normal size, and normal care is resumed. Alternatively, you can give the miniature roses a break by leaving them outside for a few months (2) in the fall, and bringing them back inside in the middle of December. They should be protected from frost by placing them alongside a wall to a heated room and covering them with straw. They are then pruned as needed, and once again, normal care is resumed.

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