Just because you’re preparing your garden for winter doesn’t mean that you have to say goodbye to beautiful flowers. Try growing roses indoors this winter. Contrary to popular belief, a rose is not a difficult plant to raise and can be moved to a sunny porch or transplanted in the garden in the spring.
Things You'll Need
- Plant Container
- Styrofoam packing peanuts
- Potting soil
- Peat moss
- Rose plant
- Indoor plant food
- Pruning shears
How to Grow Roses Indoors in Winter
Find a location indoors that has a lot of sunlight during the day. Roses need at least six hours of direct sunlight to thrive; the more sunlight the better. This will determine whether you grow a miniature rose on a sunny window ledge or try raising a full-size rose plant in a sunny room in the house. If you choose to plant a full size rose, select one of the varieties that does not grow very large. When selecting a rose, choose a plant that has a fragrance and is disease and pest-resistant.
Put a layer of Styrofoam packing peanuts in the bottom of the plant container; fill the container about one-third of the way full. These peanuts will allow for adequate drainage for the plant without adding extra weight to the container. Use these peanuts even if the container has a saucer on the bottom.
Make a planting mixture of 1 part peat moss, 1 part mulch and 2 parts potting soil in a bucket. Put this mixture on top of the packing peanuts, filling the container to a little more than halfway to the top. Lightly shake the container to allow the mixture to settle around the peanuts and add more if needed to bring the mixture level back up to half full.
Remove the rose from the container it came in and gently loosen the roots with your fingers. Center it in the new container and add some of the soil mixture around the roots. Water lightly to settle some of the soil. Finish filling the mixture to the point that the bud union is covered with about 1 inch of the soil mixture. Do not water again at this point; it might slosh out when you move the plant container.
Place the container in the sunny spot. Now water the soil gently. Keep the soil moist but not wet. Apply indoor plant food to the rose about once a month. Watch for problems normally associated with roses, such as insects or disease. Treat immediately with a pesticide or fungicide. As the plant begins to grow it will "reach" for the sunlight. Shift the container so a different side of the rose is exposed to the light. Prune and deadhead the rose the same as you do during the spring and summer.
Tips & Warnings
- If you can’t find packing peanuts, break up Styrofoam blocks.
- Spoon old coffee or tea grounds on the rose for an organic supply of nitrogen.
- Repot the rose if it grows too large for the container.
- Even miniature roses have thorns. Watch children and pets around the plant.
- Keep all chemicals out of the reach of children and pets.
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