Roses forum: Help, my rose is dying after moving it from a bed to pot

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Name: Robert Hoff
Cambridge, United Kingdom
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hoffrj
Apr 19, 2019 2:30 AM CST
Hi all, I'm trying to find out if there is anything I can do to save a rose plant after putting it in a pot. I wanted to tidy up my garden by putting the plants in pots, as in the photo below. One of the plants is a rose, and it is not doing too well. I dug it up from the bed about three weeks ago. It didn't do well from the start, it used to have leaves but these started wilting in the days after, when I noticed they were dying I decided to cut them off. I also noticed there seemed to be new leaves forming so I thought it would be alright. But during the last few days the new leaves are wilting as well, they appear dried out and greying. I put the plant in ordinary gardening compost from the hardware store, I didn't add any fertiliser to it. I didn't add pebbles at the base of the pot, which might help with draining I don't know if this is important. I've been giving the rose a lot of water (maybe too much?). The weather has been good, no problem with sunshine and above 15C (60F+) during the day.

The first image shows the rose in the pot, it used to belong to the bed below. The other image is a closeup of the new leaves, they seemed to be developing at first but now they look wilted and dry.

Would much appreciate any advice, thanks a lot!

Thumb of 2019-04-19/hoffrj/e85e69
Thumb of 2019-04-19/hoffrj/a0db07

Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Apr 19, 2019 2:43 AM CST
Pebbles in the bottom of a pot doesn't help with anything! You need a pot with drainage holes. The water has to escape!!! Pebbles do not allow water to escape.
You can use compost as a soil additive, perhaps not the only media. I would use a good potting soil or garden soil.
But there are rose varieties that do well in a pot. Others that do not. Maybe yours belongs in the ground.
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Apr 19, 2019 10:33 AM CST

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Bill, I don't think pebbles were used, quoting: "I didn't add pebbles at the base of the pot". The question remains though if the pot has drainage holes.

Remove the dead blackend stem. I would cut the long green stem in half, just above a leaf node. Your rose is trying to recover a transplant so may have had fine feeder roots damaged in the process and will be busy trying to grow new roots, thus any leaves will struggle until those roots are established. Keep soil moist, not overly wet though.
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Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid hobbyist/Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Dahlias Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Apr 19, 2019 10:39 AM CST
I stand corrected! Thanks Sue. Thumbs up
“The only stupid question is the one that is never asked!”
Coastal Southern California (Zone 13a)
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jerijen
Apr 19, 2019 1:49 PM CST
The question in my mind is, how long had the rose been in the ground?

Also, how big is the pot, both tall and wide.

That pot looks to be tall/narrow. Most roses tend to have rather "spreading" root systems. How much root did you have to cut off to get it into the pot?
Name: Robert Hoff
Cambridge, United Kingdom
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hoffrj
Apr 20, 2019 12:57 PM CST
Hi all again, many thanks for your advice and comments! I've tried to implement this as best I could as well as with advice I got locally.

So, I took the rose out of the pot and made some changes to the soil, and hopefully made the draining better. Here is a photo after I poured the rose out on the terrace.

Thumb of 2019-04-20/hoffrj/3cde31

You can see there is a hole in the centre of the pot but it is quite tiny, about half an inch. The old soil which was sold as 'multipurpose compost' seemed very wet (releasing water when squeezed) so it seems likely it was not draining well before! The root of the plant looked like this:

Thumb of 2019-04-20/hoffrj/b137fd

I got some new special earth meant for roses which says on it 'loam based' and 'rich in nutrients'. I didn't want to clog the small hole this time so I put a 2 inch layer of sizeable pebbles in the bottom. Using the same pot I kind of curled the root on top of the pebbles and packed it together with the new soil. The root is indeed more spread out than it is deep, and slightly bigger than the diameter of the pot, perhaps it means I need a flatter pot? Finally I cut the rose, so this is the result:

Thumb of 2019-04-20/hoffrj/c75bfb

I decided to test the draining by pouring perhaps 3 gallons on it, somewhat discerningly it seemed to soak it all up and the soil sank from the edge of the pot by about an inch. After some time, perhaps 5-10 minutes water was dripping very slowly out of the hole, but the soil remained what seemed thoroughly soaked all evening. Even the next day the soil still seemed compact and wet. Compared to the soil I used previously this type seems heavier and feels rubbery when poked.

Do you think what I've done will work? I'm wondering particularly if I need to be careful giving it too much water, should I perhaps let the soil dry out a bit? And I'm wondering about the pot size being too small for the root, seeing the root was quite spread out. These or any other comments should be most welcome, thanks very much!!

Name: Robert Hoff
Cambridge, United Kingdom
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hoffrj
Apr 20, 2019 1:07 PM CST
I forgot to mention the rose was in the ground when I moved in to my house, which means at least 4 years old but probably some years longer. It's been cut several times at the base (I can count 6 cuts at the base, that were stems about as thick as the current healthy stem), but I wasn't responsible for that.
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Apr 20, 2019 1:09 PM CST
This is where I fear that your problem lies. That looks like a standard size rose with a good sized root system. And now you want to confine it to a pot. Long term, I just do not think that it will be happy confined to a pot.
There are several rose varieties bred specifically to be in pots or containers. I don't think that your is one such plant.
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Apr 20, 2019 1:12 PM CST
And the pebbles won't help as mentioned above.
Porkpal
Name: Ken Wilkinson
N.E. GA. (Cornelia) (Zone 7b)
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KenNEGA
Apr 20, 2019 6:46 PM CST
You've done everything you can do. Just sit back and wait for new growth. Roses are pretty tough. I'm willing to bet if you keep the soil "moist", it will start to put out new growth in about 3 to 4 weeks. Most people in India grow their roses in pots like yours and their bush's are huge. Do yourself a favor. Put something under the pot to get it off the ground so it can drain.
It's a rose!!! It has nothing to do with life and death.
Name: Shyam
San Francisco, CA (Zone 10b)
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Rose_Guy1127
Apr 20, 2019 8:18 PM CST
I second what Ken stated above. I would like to add that the tall growing roses won't be happy in pots, yes, but it can be grown in pots if you root-prune every year or two or three, depending on the size of the container. Some of my roses, including tree roses, are growing in large/deep glazed containers, and they are growing and blooming well. I know I will have to root-prune every two-three years.
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
kittriana
Apr 20, 2019 8:28 PM CST
I no longer grow roses, but memories of the days, chuckl. Use a perlite if the soil holds too much water. Roses like water, but don't like their feet wet. I never used pebbles, but did use a screen of sorts to help retain the dirt. Good luck
Should you go first, and I remain, to walk the road alone- I'll live in Memory's garden, dear, with happy days we've known.

KSPNW8
Apr 21, 2019 12:40 AM CST
It sounds like your pot is very slow to drain. Consider enlarging the drainage hole or adding a few more holes in the bottom of the pot.
Zone 9, Sunset Zone 9 (Zone 9b)
Roses
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Mustbnuts
Apr 21, 2019 12:30 PM CST
OK. Weighing in here. Have grown roses in pots for 24 years.

First of all, as stated earlier, your pot looks too small. The pot should be at least 24 inches in diameter and at least 20--24 inches in depth. Bigger pots would be better than the dimensions I mentioned above. If you can find a 30 inch pot in diameter and 24 inches in depth, that would be great.

Secondly, I am concerned about the soil you bought. Do NOT use soil for the garden in pots, even if it states it is for roses. They are talking about roses in the ground, not in pots. Use potting soil. It should be stated on the bag that it is meant for plants in pots. I hope I am wrong but it sounds like you used soil for the garden for your potted rose. Again, use potting soil only. Don't get that awful stuff you have to wet, make sure it is already damp when you buy it. Again, check the label. To me, it sounds like you used soil for the garden instead of potting mix. That may be why it is so slow to drain.

Not sure why you planted your rose at the back of the pot. Make sure it is in the center of the pot and that the roots are spread out. Plant it no deeper in the pot than it was in the soil.

Make sure your pot has more than one hole in the bottom of it. I use resin pots (they are thick so they help to protect the roots from my damaging heat and freezing weather). I can drill holes (and often do) in the bottom to make sure I have enough drainage. If not, you might want to try one of those large grow bags (again, look at the measurements) instead of a pot. I don't use rocks on the bottom for drainage for my pots. I actually place screening material (the kind you use for screens for a house) cut to fit the bottom of my pot. Lets the pot drain freely while keeping the potting soil inside the pot and not coming out of the bottom.

I also have all of my pots on plant stands with wheels. I don't use the wooden ones as they eventually break down. I use the plastic ones from Australia (you can get them on Amazon or at a big box store) as they can hold up to 500 pounds and still are movable. You will be surprised how often you will move a pot around.

Make sure your rose is getting more than 6 hours of direct sun daily. Roses generally don't like shade and prefer full sun (depending on where you live) If you live in the desert southwest, shade for your rose will be important during summer.

Coastal Southern California (Zone 13a)
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jerijen
Apr 21, 2019 1:41 PM CST
MustbeNuts pretty much covered it .
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Calif_Sue
Apr 21, 2019 10:36 PM CST

Moderator

Going back to the issue of adding the pebbles to the bottom of the pot, as mentioned, this is not a good idea.
It does not help with drainage, it actually allows water to build up and can keep the bottom layer of the potting soil too wet which will cause root issues.
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RpR
Apr 21, 2019 10:58 PM CST
Those roots in that pot = dead rose.
Put it back in the ground.
Name: Robert Hoff
Cambridge, United Kingdom
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hoffrj
Apr 23, 2019 4:33 AM CST
Hi all, Thanks again for all your comments and detailed feedback!

Considering, I think I'll leave the plant as it is and see how it copes. Noted I made some mistakes repotting it so I suppose there's a chance it won't make it. Probably the pot size being the biggest issue, 24" was recommended, the one I'm using measures 13". The small pot size is the reason, by the way, that the plant ended up near the side, the roots were shooting off mainly in one direction. (I'd say the root is about centered although the plant isn't). Regarding the soil type, it doesn't say anywhere on the pack that it is meant for pots, so I suppose it isn't. This is what the pack looks like:

Thumb of 2019-04-23/hoffrj/85fc15

My local gardening centre recommended the use of a screen at the base, as was suggested here, this was the idea with using the pebbles, thinking it would achieve the same. I might be wrong about that, but I hope they won't do any harm.

Anyway, there was a couple of things I could do without repotting the plant. I drilled some holes at the bottom of the pot. The pot was actually easy to drill through being soft clay or terracotta. The largest drill size I had was 9mm so that's what I used. The bottom looks like this (they are a bit here and there)

Thumb of 2019-04-23/hoffrj/56fd1d

I've raised the pot using a couple of tiles:

Thumb of 2019-04-23/hoffrj/7c5d95

Thinking then, I'll leave it at least for some days, and see how it goes. If it survives perhaps I'll repot it
next season, or if it does poorly I might try some more emergency intervention.
Zone 9, Sunset Zone 9 (Zone 9b)
Roses
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Mustbnuts
Apr 23, 2019 5:25 AM CST
Robert, I didn't realize you were in England. Please re-pot the plant in a bigger pot. It will be much happier. I looked up on Amazon UK and discovered your name for compost soil is the same thing as our garden soil mixes. Plant your rose in what is called in the UK, Houseplant Potting Mix. It will thank you for it and will survive in the pot much better.

Your pot should be at least 60 cm. Something like this one (not sure the hyperlink will work ) and no I don't work for Amazon nor get any kickbacks. This company states they have a 60 cm by 60 cm pot but I don't see it listed on the page. You will need to drill holes in the bottom for drainage. I am not sure that this hyperlink is going to work on here, but you can check out CUBO fiberglass pots on Amazon and find it.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Plant...



Name: Anne Peck
Indiana (Zone 5b)
Anne wants more plants
Irises
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queenanne42
Apr 23, 2019 8:29 AM CST
i have a few smaller roses in pots and I just used potting mix and come compost and they seem to be happy. I am also using some cheap plastic pots with many holes in them. Just my 2 cents.

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