5 Reasons Why Your Indoor Roses Keep Dying

Roses are extremely popular flowers that work well as birthday, anniversary, or even date night gifts. Although roses can be planted indoors, the chances of wilting and even death are usually high, especially if you don’t provide a conducive enough environment. So why do indoor roses keep dying? 

Here are five reasons why your indoor roses keep dying:

  1. Not enough direct sunlight
  2. The temperature isn’t right
  3. Underwatering
  4. The pot is too small
  5. The pot isn’t allowing the excess water to drain

In this article, I will discuss how these five factors can affect your indoor roses and how to fix them. Let’s jump right in!

1. Not Enough Direct Sunlight

Roses require 6 hours of direct sunlight. This amount of sunlight is crucial to your rose plant’s growth and overall health. So if your roses don’t get enough sunlight, their growth will stunt, and they could die.

The amount of flowers on a rose plant directly indicates how much sun it’s getting. If fewer flowers are showing, this means there’s not enough sun. In such situations, you should move your roses to a sunnier spot in your home.

The leaves may turn brown or yellow and drop if your plant is not getting enough sunlight. And since all roses will struggle without enough sunlight, it’s highly advisable to set up a sunny spot for your beautiful roses to thrive. 

2. The Temperature Isn’t Right

There is a large variety of roses that thrive in different temperatures. If you’re in a hotter climate but have roses that don’t do well in high temperatures, your plants are likely to struggle. The same goes for a super cold climate.

Although most bare-root roses have a defense mechanism to adapt to hot and cold weather, indoor roses can also be negatively affected by temperature. 

Most common indoor roses prefer warmer indoor temperatures between 60 – 70 °F (15.56 – 21.11 °C). So if the temperature is below 60 °F (15.56 °C) for short periods occasionally, your rose should not suffer any damage. 

That being said, roses will start to show signs of stress if the temperature isn’t consistent in your home. This means that the temperature in your home shouldn’t vary too much day to day. 

Fluctuating indoor temperatures means your roses will struggle to adapt to the temperature changes, which increases the chances of stress and even wilting.  

Roses go dormant in the winter and lose their flowers, but this is normal. You want to ensure you give your roses less sunlight in the winter because they don’t need as much when going dormant. 

Mini Roses

Mini roses are hugely popular for indoor planting. They’re cute and relatively easy to care for, considering their mini size.

Mini roses are great for colder environments because they can survive 20 °F (-6.67 °C) if necessary. Mini roses go dormant in the winter to protect themselves. Even though inside your home won’t be 20 °F, mini roses still benefit from going into dormancy in the winter months. 

To help a mini rose go into dormancy inside your home, you’ll want to keep it in a cooler area of your home with less sunlight. Having it in a cooler place will help the plant naturally go dormant for the winter and have a fresh start in spring.

3. Underwatering

A potted rose needs to be watered about once a week and have enough water that a small amount drains out of the bottom of the pot. When this occurs, you’ll know your roses have been thoroughly watered. 

Underwatering is a major problem that often occurs when plant parents only water the topsoil and not all the way to the bottom of the pot. Proper watering practices ensure that roots can draw up the water they need for nutrient absorption and growth.  

You’ll also want to remember that during hotter months, you may need to water your rose more than once a week. Roses prefer moist but unsaturated soil.

Terracotta, ceramic, or clay pots are better for preserving moisture, while metal and plastic pots conduct more heat and therefore dry out the soil quicker.

4. The Pot Is Too Small

A common problem with roses dying is that the pot they’re in has become too small. This issue causes pot-bound roots, where the roots start growing around the perimeter of the pot because they don’t have enough room.

When roots are pot-bound, they aren’t able to get nutrients from the soil.

Some of the signs that your rose plant has outgrown its pot include: 

  • Yellow leaves
  • Leaf drop
  • Few flowers on display

If you’ve found this is your issue, you’ll want to fix it immediately. A good rule to go by to prevent this from happening is to have your roses in a pot no smaller than 10 inches (25.4 cm) across. The best option is a pot that is 12 inches (30.48 cm) across

Your next step is to fill the bigger pot with new soil and try to remove as much of the old soil from the rose plant as possible. Ensure you water the rose after replanting. And although not compulsory, adding fertilizer is always a plus.

I’ve written an extensive guide about potential reasons your potted flowers aren’t blooming. Don’t miss it: 7 Reasons Why Your Potted Flowers Aren’t Blooming

5. The Pot Isn’t Allowing Excess Water to Drain

Poor drainage in a flower pot is the number one cause of root rot in indoor plants. If excess water cannot drain, it will just sit in the bottom of the pot. Standing water leads to the fungus root rot that can kill your roses. 

Roses like moist soil, but not soggy soil, so proper drainage is critical. You’ll want to find a pot with several drainage holes in the bottom to allow all that water to drain out. Be sure to get a tray (at the bottom) to dump out excess water.

Black Spot Fungus

Leaving excess water in your flower pot is usually never a good idea and can lead to a wide range of fungal infections. Unfortunately, root rot isn’t the only fungus you have to worry about when it comes to roses. 

Another fungus that can occur from excess water is Diplocarpon Rosea, also known as Black Spot. This disease is common in roses that are excessively watered. The fungus moves up the plant and manifests as black spots in leaves before they eventually fall off. 

According to the University of Maine, It only takes 7 hours of wetness for a fungus spore to germinate.

Black spot fungus occurs more in extended periods of high heat, such as 75 – 85 °F (23.89 – 29.44 °C). So, you’ll want to keep your home at the recommended temperatures to help avoid this. The black spot also thrives in dead leaves and petals in your flower pot. 

To avoid black spots, you’ll want to practice these tips regularly: 

  • Discard fallen leaves/petals.
  • Don’t water the foliage.
  • Keep roses in a dry area with plenty of sunlight.
  • Use a preventative fungicide.

If you start noticing block spots on the leaves, you must remove stems or leaves that have been infected to keep them from spreading to the rest of the plant.

If your roses develop a black spot, you’ll also want to purchase a quality fungicide like the BioAdvanced Rose & Flower Spray (available on Amazon.com) to help fight the disease. The spray is safe for your potted roses if used in the recommended portions. 

Final Thoughts

As we’ve established throughout the article, proper rose care is key to preventing diseases and promoting healthy growth.  

When potting your roses, it’s best to use a large pot that is a minimum of 10 – 12 inches (25.4 – 30.48 cm) wide because their roots need lots of room to spread out and absorb nutrients and water. Pot-bound roots can lead to plant death if not handled early enough.

When purchasing pots, it’s advisable to get ones with several drainage holes to keep root rot and black spot fungus at bay. 

Dr. Moritz Picot

Dr. Moritz Picot is a horticulture enthusiast and the founder of TheGrowingLeaf.com, where he serves as the lead content writer. He established the website in 2022 as a valuable resource for both gardening aficionados and beginners, compiling all the gardening tips he has accumulated over the past 25 years. Alex has a passion for nurturing plants, transforming backyards into inviting spaces, and sharing his knowledge with the world.

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