The Q&A Archives: Floribunda Rose Tree Problems

Question: I recently purchased a floribunda rose tree. Although it had one full bloom on it when I purchased it, along with a couple of new buds, it looked like it had been in it's pot for some time. It is about 3 feet tall and did not have much foliage. It also appeared to have an aphid problem as the leaves had small holes and a sticky subtance on them. After transplanting the rose tree, we noticed that the soil in the pot was very wet and sandy. We followed the directions on the information tag that came with the rose tree. After about a week in the ground, all of the leaves have dried and it looks like they are about to fall off. I have been watering it daily. Do you think this rose tree will die? Is there anything else I should do to help with it's recovery?

Thank you for your response.

Answer: It sounds as though your rose tree was under stress when you bought it. Transplanting can also stress a plant, so your tree already has two strikes against it. Daily watering can suffocate the roots so I'd stop watering that often. Roses need full sunshine and rich, moist (but not soggy wet) soils. Water your rose tree deeply then don't water again until the soil begins to dry out (usually every 4-5 days in the summer if you don't get any rain). To check the soil moisture content, water thoroughly then wait 3-4 days and dig down into the soil. If it's still moist 2-3" below the surface, you won't need to water for another few days; if the soil is dry 2-3" below the surface, it's time to water again.

Once the roots become established, your new rose should perk up and produce healthy new growth. Just give it some time. Next spring you can prune off all the dead and damaged plant parts and it should recover nicely.

Best wishes with your tree rose.

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