Brown Stems On Rose - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Garden Friend
San Diego, CA
Question by dkscott
December 27, 1999
I purchased a container shrub rose 'mutabilis' in August and planted in a pot with good drainage and potting soil and a full-sun W/SW exposure. Until November it was doing great; it was blooming like crazy. Then it began to have wilted stem tips and leaves. But when I watered it, all the inner leaves turned yellow and fell off. This occurred several times and when I inquired at the garden center they said I was either watering too much or too little. I now use a water meter and only water when it begins to get dry. This change has helped some. However, within the last 2 weeks the outer stems and twigs have turned brown and gotten very brittle. I live in zone 10. I am new to growing roses and to gardening in such a warm climate. Can you help?

Answer from NGA
December 27, 1999


I tend to agree with the person at the garden center - over or underwatering can cause real distress in plants. On the other hand, roses usually lose their leaves in the winter, so the problem might not be a problem, at all! Roses never really go dormant in Southern California as they do in other parts of the nation, but you'll need to prepare your rose for a winter rest by removing all of the leaves. Just pull them off and dispose of them. Wait until mid-January, then prune back the stems (especially those that look withered or off-color). New buds should form on the stems and new flowering stems should begin to grow in the spring.

You must be signed in before you can post questions or answers. Click here to join!

« Return to the Garden Knowledgebase Homepage

Member Login:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by ge1836 and is called "Snowdrop 1"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.