How to Save a Potted Rose Plant


Few ornamental shrubs are as popular as the rose, according to New Mexico State University. Many rose varieties thrive in a container garden, allowing you to move them around as needed to accent your landscape or home. Occasionally, a potted rose plant may experience cultural, disease or pest problems. Save the rose bush to defend the plant's health and ensure a beautiful display of the shrub's iconic blossoms.

Step 1

Water the potted rose if it shows signs of drought stress, including the curling and wilting of its foliage. The Alabama Cooperative Extension Office recommends using enough water to moisten the dirt at a depth of 10 inches. Repeat once a week or whenever the top couple inches of potting soil has dried.

Step 2

Move the rose into the sun if its foliage appears pale. All rose species require a minimum of six hours of direct sun per day, according to Texas A&M University. The university suggests rotating the potted rose every couple of days to keep it from growing lopsided as it reaches toward the sun.

Step 3

Spray the rose bush with a fungicide if you notice white or black powder on its foliage and stems, or dusty dark spots. These are symptoms of a fungal disease such as powdery mildew, blight or black spot. The University of Florida recommends spraying your rose bush once a week with a fungicide spray during the potted rose's active growing season. Such sprays can be formulated with a variety of chemicals, including sulfur and horticultural oils.

Step 4

Keep the rose bush cool if you notice excessive wilting, even with proper watering, and poor blossom production. Though heat tolerance varies by rose variety, most rose bushes stop blooming in temperatures of 90 degrees F or higher, according to New Mexico State University. If your area gets hot, the university suggests moving the rose bush into the shade during the afternoon heat.

Step 5

Treat your rose bush with an insecticide spray if you notice it's being attacked by aphids, thrips, mites or other common rose bush pests, according to Clemson University. This is especially common in outdoor potted roses. Use any insecticide spray labeled for use on ornamental shrubs, following its labeled guidelines as toxicity varies widely by product.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Fungicide
  • Insecticide


  • "Foolproof Guide to Growing Roses"; Field Roebuck; 2003
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension: Growing Roses
  • Texas A&M University: Growing Roses
  • University of Florida: Growing Roses In Florida
  • New Mexico State University: Growing Roses

Who Can Help

  • Clemson University: Growing Roses
Keywords: troubleshooting potted rose, save potted rose, potted rose plant

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.