Roses forum→Im new to roses and not doing as well as I thought!!

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Jul 26, 2020 6:58 PM CST
I think I might be having the same problem with my "life of the party" heirloom rose. However mine has been in a pot for 3 months and was blooming at a fast rate. First picture is how beautiful they looked two months ago.

The leaves were growing out of the stem a beautiful dark red color and changing to a dark green. Now drooping, blooms don't finish, no smell, black on stems (cut back twice already to remove black and used glue to seal the cut) and my soil reader says the soil is dry and my PH is high. Leaves are light green with little development in growth then wilt and turn light brown. I bought the soil reader when I first got the rose and it has always shown a high PH even after I fertilized. Not sure if the PH reader is right. But I have done things like add coffee grounds and they bloom wonderfully when I do that.

Attached a few pics of how they look now and the reading for moist soil and the reading for PH. I recently got so upset over losing my roses I replanted them in new soil because I didn't know what else to do. Tried watering consistently and tried watering sparingly. Didn't change anything. Please help as I got these roses from Mississippi and brought them to my Florida home and they are special. Thanks for any help!

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Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, New York (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner 2020 Garden Photography Roses Bulbs Peonies
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dog Lover Cat Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York
Jul 26, 2020 7:28 PM CST
Welcome; we'll try to answer your questions as best we can. The more information you provide, the better our responses will be.

So let's talk watering... Roses need moist, well-drained soil and occasional fertilizing with a balanced fertilizer. You should water them frequently enough to keep the soil moist, but not continuously wet. It's OK for the soil to dry out a little bit between waterings.

Now let's consider sunlight. Most roses need 6 hours of direct sunlight, and I wonder if it's getting enough sun on your balcony. Bright shade is not normally sufficient.

And now let's consider the pot. I suspect Jerri will chime in here soon about growing roses in pots - i.e., the right sized pot for the rose given its size and its root mass, proper drainage holes, etc. The pot you have looks tall and narrow, which I don't think will be optimum. I think ultimately you will want something wider, and not as tall.

Edited to add: It looks like you've posted this same post to another thread here in the rose forum, which explains why the first sentence in your post puzzled me at first.
[Last edited by Mike - Jul 26, 2020 8:39 PM (+)]
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Jul 27, 2020 8:24 AM CST
Thanks Mike! I moved it into the full sun today. I'll see if that will make a difference for now. Will work on getting a different pot. Wish I had a yard to plant it in but unfortunately not at the moment. Thank you so much!
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
Jul 27, 2020 8:39 AM CST
Atr there any drainage holes in the bottom of that pot? If not drill some in.

Jul 27, 2020 9:40 AM CST
Seilmi! Yes there is a huge drainage hole and the water seems to come out immediately after I pour the water in so its working. Thank you!
SW Ohio River Valley (Zone 6b)
Jul 27, 2020 2:01 PM CST
Is the soil wet after watering or is the water just flowing straight through? Does the pot feel heavy after watering? It does look like it could benefit from some dilute liquid fertilizer, I make sure it's well water prior.
Coastal Southern California (Zone 13a)
Jul 27, 2020 3:09 PM CST
Yeah, as Mike said, one consideration is the pot.

Think of the shape and size the rose is supposed to have. Now, picture it "naked." No pot. No soil. The roots should have as much volume as the top. That's a lovely lovely pot, but it's not a good shape for a rose. Look for something you could turn the plant upside down, and put the whole top into. That's what the rose needs. Root room.

Also, that one big round drainage hole isn't ideal. It sounds like the water's going straight through.

The truth is, the Good Lord never intended roses to live in pots. So, if you're going to grow them that way, (and I do, too) you need to adapt a bit.
(Zone 5b)
Bookworm The WITWIT Badge Moon Gardener Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Native Plants and Wildflowers Roses
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Jul 27, 2020 3:46 PM CST
I would tend to the canker first. Try to stay ahead of it.
Simple on a Schedule
Zone 9, Sunset Zone 9 (Zone 9b)
Jul 27, 2020 3:53 PM CST
SBurt, did you use potting soil in your pot or regular garden soil? What type of fertilizer did you use? Have you used any sprays, e.g., for fungus, bugs, etc.?

Your leaves show signs of chlorosis, (green veins and yellow leaves). That could be an iron deficiency. Looking at your meter (hopefully, it is accurate), it is showing that the soil in your pot is alkaline. The high Ph could be locking up the iron in the soil and not making it available to the plant. Roses prefer a Ph of 6.0--6.5.

The canes turning black could be a sign of canker. Canker is a fungal disease and you need to prune those canes out at least 2 to 3 inches below the canker, to a strongly growing shoot/cane. You also need to make sure you wipe off the blades of your clippers with alcohol, so you don't transfer the fungus to a healthy part of the plant.

I grow roses in pots and have for decades. Make sure your pot is big enough for the rose and that it has good root depth. I use pots that are at least 24 inches in diameter and at least 24 inches (or more) in depth. I also use a good potting soil as well so that they plant will have adequate drainage. The pots need to have several holes in them for drainage. I prefer resin pots for my roses for several reasons rather than ceramic (heavy, can crack and the expense). Make sure your pot is not sitting in a saucer where the roots can get waterlogged.

Roses in pots will need to be fed more often. I use a good organic fertilizer for this. How often did you fertilize? Over fertilization can cause burning of your rose. This is one time when more is not necessarily better.
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
Jul 27, 2020 8:34 PM CST
If the water runs out immediately my thought would be there is something wrong with the soil or pot. Potting soil should retain moisture and not just run through that quickly. I've had roses in pots for many years now and when I see that happen it usually means the rose is root bound and there is little real soil left. I either repot in a bigger pot or do a root pruning and add new soil.

Jul 28, 2020 9:29 AM CST
Thank you everyone. I tended to the Canker first but it almost took my whole plant. There isn't much left. Anyways unfortunately there is only one large whole at the bottom of the pot. Yes the pot is probably not ideal now that I have learned so much from all of you. I will look at other pots. I am not sure if the water is leaving to early. The soil feels moist to me so I think that is okay. I don't think it was getting enough sun. So I have moved it off my porch for a few days to see if it makes a difference. I was fertilizing every few weeks. However I was confused exactly which to use. So many videos and forums recommended different numbered fertilizer and so did the place I first bought it. So I made the mistake of trying both a few weeks apart. Don't know which one might have caused an issue (Alaska fish fertilizer 5-1-1 and bioadvanced Roses 3 in 1 9-14-9). Anyways coffee grounds soaked in water was the best thing it seemed for the roses. They really bloomed well. Maybe you are right about not fertilizing enough but I was afraid of over fertilizing. After I repotted it in fresh potting soil fertilizer (miracle gro potting mix) which is what I used the first time they were doing so well I haven't fertilized with anything else. Just moved into the sun to ensure its getting the required hours of sunlight and took care of the canker.
Zone 9, Sunset Zone 9 (Zone 9b)
Jul 28, 2020 4:29 PM CST
The Bayer product has a fertilizer, insecticide and fungicide (it is a systemic) in one. Then you also added another fertilizer and the potting soil you used also has a fertilizer. Do not fertilize anymore for the next couple of months. Fertilizer is one of those things where more is not necessarily better. Lets see how your plant does over the next few weeks or so.

BTW, did your plant have a warranty on it? You may have just gotten a bum plant.
Coastal Southern California (Zone 13a)
Jul 28, 2020 4:57 PM CST
I guess there's a learning curve to every activity. One of my mistakes (and I've made so many) was buying our first three roses, and choosing three HIGHLY recommended roses which were, nevertheless, completely wrong for my location.

But we all keep on learning. Good luck!

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