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Help with wilting bareroot rose

lyondrew2911
5 days ago
last modified: 5 days ago

I recently bought a bare root rose plant and put it a pot until I plant it this spring. it had a small amount of growth on it when I bought so I planted it as soon as I could. It has grown some but is now wilting and the leaves are starting to wilt and the stems are also. I bring it in when it may frost to keep it from killing back the tender growth. Has anyone experienced this before? I have attached pictures. Thanks for any help!


Comments (18)

  • lkayetwvz5

    No pictures showing but I will venture a guess. Did you soak the bareroot rose roots for at least several hours before potting up? Bareroots need to be soaked in water before being planted, whether in the ground or a pot. They have been in cold storage for many months before being pulled and shipped and are living only on the reserves they have stored in their stems. Also you should keep the plant out of sunlight and wind for several weeks after planting to also preserve moisture in the stems.

    lyondrew2911 thanked lkayetwvz5
  • lyondrew2911

    thank you for the advice. I placed it in a bucket of water for about 30 minutes to an hour before planting which I can see was definitely not long enough. should I remove it from the pot and soak it in water?

  • Embothrium

    Soaking bare-rooted plants is actually, if anything detrimental rather than beneficial. If nothing else nutrients contained within the plant leach out into the water, while it is immersed for hours - a completely unnatural circumstance for anything except wetland adapted species.

    Your rose looks to me like what it needs now is simply to be watered. Also you probably need to stop moving it back and forth between indoors and out - the indoor visits are likely to be making it more vulnerable to outdoor conditions. At this point it definitely looks forced, as though having been allowed to produce new growth for some time in an indoor environment. So that now it may be ahead of schedule for outdoor conditions And not in a condition to be given full sun.

  • lkayetwvz5

    I wouldn't unplant it, just water and keep out of hot sun. Does it wilt only when the sun is out and return to normal in the shade? I am hardening off my rose seedlings that have been in the greenhouse by putting them outside for several hours every day and I did notice one wilted in the sun the other day. I will continue to soak my roses before planting. I've been doing it for nearly 40 years and old tricks die hard.

  • Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR

    I soak overnight. Good luck with the wilting. I wonder if you need to set the pot in water to allow a more thorough soaking of the planting medium too through the drainage holes. I wonder if your watering now is penetrating the soil?

  • a1an

    WHAT is the potting medium ? I see mulch ontop (presumbly to aid in keeping the medium wet). That looks more like heat stress no ? Or or confusion ?


    I just re-read the original post. OP is bringing it indoors/and outdoors

  • Embothrium

    Others continue to insist on amending of planting hole back-fill also, yet there is no benefit to it. And it can in fact result in failure to establish.

  • Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR

    Amending works here. Once I get my soil up to par from subsoil, I probably would not need to.

















  • a1an

    My bare root orders have yet to come in, but I'm counting the days....

    I take it there is NO CONSENSUS bearing the recent debate in this thread

    So is there a general consensus on whether to soak or not to soak. Many seem to suggest 24hrs min / 48 hr max. on GW, older postings on consensus is a few days-weeks (changing stagnent water) and the roses actually thrive better once planted.


  • Marlorena-z8 England-

    Those canes look as though they are on the way out to me... not the thick canes from the base but those side shoots... I find once they develop those ridges down the stems they are about to die off and usually turn black...

  • jc_7a_MiddleTN

    a1an, I’m also a rose newb but have soaked my bare roots overnight every time (15+) and they all performed well.


    Maybe Ebothrium is being nitpicky because they expect higher performance or know what works for them.


    I’ll continue to soak mine because it worked in the past.

  • lyondrew2911

    The mulch is to help with containing moisture. Though the canes are looking wilted, they continue to put out fresh new growth. The forecast in my area is calling for rain over the weekend and I'm wondering if I should let it get some rain. Rain always seems to help perk up wilted plants!

  • Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR

    Rain is good but does not adequately water pots. If the new growth wilted, you have to seriously step up your pot watering. Sometimes a pot can be dry and water runs right through the pot without soaking into the planting medium.

  • seil zone 6b MI

    It may just be some shock. You don't say where you bought it or if it was already leafed out when you bought it. If so it went from whatever growing conditions it was in to your house and yard. Which I'm sure are very different. Check the drainage on that pot. If you have a tray under it take that off. Roses need very good drainage. Make sure it is well watered but not soggy wet. You might want to put it up on some blocks to let it drain better. Do not fertilize it until it looks better and begins growing again. Fact is I wouldn't fertilize it until after the first bloom. I hope it perks back up for you soon.

  • Embothrium

    Professional researchers were noticing amending of planting holes for woody plants was not beneficial by 1969. With university level trials also showing that the same kinds of plants in amended holes were establishing less readily than those planted in holes without amendments, in the same plots.

    No controls = no basis for comparison. Those who "know" their plants do better because they have larded the planting hole back-fill with goodies are mistaken. Organic material belongs on top of the soil, as mulch, when one is talking about anything other than small rooted, high humus level adapted kinds like annual flowers and vegetables.

    Amended back-fill surrounded by unaltered soil results in problems with how water enters and exists planting holes. The resulting reduction in growth during the early stages after planting may often not be apparent without, again, control plants providing a basis for comparison.

  • jc_7a_MiddleTN

    You might very well be correct, but I’m not willing to test it.


    If if it was common practice to do 10 jumping jacks before planting a rose, I would do that too.


    So thats who you are dealing with here lol

  • Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR

    I know amending works here with the subsoil I have. I tried no super or triple phosphate when planting initially here because of the negative effect on the MF I read about. I think the plants I used the phosphate under appear to be doing better. I also soak bare root over night in water.

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