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Growing a Rose Plant Indoors

I have a small wild rose that I found on my property in the north woods and transplanted to a pot this summer. It was growing very well until about September. The leaves are now turning yellow and dropping off. Because I live in an apartment, I have to keep all my plants inside. Unfortunately, all my windows face north (no direct sunlight). I water my rose about once a week. Is it just dropping leaves for winter or is there another problem I should be addressing?

Roses need full sun outdoors, to perform their best. Growing them indoors, even in a sunny window, is difficult. Plus the shorter often grayer days of winter further decrease the amount of light the rose receives. Thus the yellow leaves. Consider adding some artificial light to your indoor garden. There are lots of options and set ups available at garden stores, garden catalogues and on-line. Some lights clip on the pot, others have a base for the plant and the light positioned above, there are spots that can be mounted nearby and the standard fluorescent tubes are still available. Set your plants on a reflective or white surface to reflect the light back into the plants and further increase the light intensity. Water the plants thoroughly and whenever the top few inches are crumbly but slightly moist. Pour off excess or better yet create a gravel tray. Place a few pebbles in the saucer and set the pot on top of the pebbles. Allow excess water to collect in saucer below the pot. As this water evaporates it increases the humidity around the plants. Only fertilize actively growing plants. Those struggling through low light or other stressful conditions can be damaged by overfertilzation.


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