Growing Roses Indoors?

jeffcatAugust 13, 2009

I picked up some Bayer fungicide yesterday and wanted to pick up a cheap annual and perennial that was of a decent size to fill in a small window extension in my kitchen. While looking most of the things I was interested in were little hibiscus's and whatnot......mostly around $7. Well while I was looking, I remembered all the gallon roses were getting cleared out for $10, so I figured I'd just try a rose instead....considering if I lost it, it wouldn't be such a large investment.

So while looking around for a leftover Veteran's Honor(which somebody grabbed), I ran across a Chrysler Imperial, Showbiz, etc., but being a big Austin fan, I saw a quite healthy Christopher Marlowe just sitting around. I put off CM in the past due to it's rather odd growing manner and small blooms in comparison to most other English roses, but it fit the bill of what I wanted. It is rather twiggy and compact in growth, very floriferous, very bright and lively blooms, and has fragrance.

Now the window cubicle is about 3.5ft tall, 3ft wide and 2.5ft deep(excluding size of pot CM is in) and gets enough sun. However, being in Ohio, how reasonable would it be to grow a rose indoors? If possible, would it be possible to keep CM growing and blooming throughout the winter as well?......something I'm totally unfamiliar with in Ohio, but I was curious if any southern or southern california growers would be familar with the topic. Granted the sunlight is cut down in the winter, but assuming there is enough light, could CM pull it off, or would it just be best off to set CM outside and let the rose go dormant instead. I was interested to hear what experiences people have had with the indoor growing during summer/winter and how well the roses do by comparison during "winter" in areas where the winter temps are in the 60s and the roses never go completly dormant.

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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

To my knowledge, it's almost impossible to grow roses indoors other than in a greenhouse. I could be wrong, and I'd be happy to be corrected, but that is my understanding. I imagine you could leave them indoors for very short periods of time, but that's all. If it were easy I imagine lots of people would have loved to do it, me included.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 1:20PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

My understanding of growing roses indoors is the same as Ingrids.
Maybe someone on the forum has tried it.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 1:34PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

I've done it, but the methodology is totally different. The roses go in a cool/cold basement under lights. Something that size will probably want a 4-tube fixture, which isn't the typical shop light deal.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 1:36PM
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roseman(Z 8A GA)

Growing roses indoors, with the exception of a greenhouse, is not a good or productive idea. They get very 'leggy' reaching for the light or sun, and they contract lots of diseases like mites, etc. Basically, a rose bush is an outdoor animal, and should remain there.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 1:48PM
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Is there any reason in particular why the roses can't make it inside? Lack of humidity? I grew a kordes miniature rose in that spot last year and it did fine there, but mini's are tough as nails, so I'm not sure I can really go off that. I appreciate all the comments though.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 1:49PM
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le_jardin_of_roses(zone 10)

I wouldn't try it myself. They would probably be weak and grow only in the direction of the window. You could rotate the pot, but it would be like growing a rose in a mostly shaded spot I would think. Good luck, Jeff! Maybe you are a pioneer in this regard. Let us know how it turns out.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 2:11PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

If you don't mind possibly losing a rose, then just try it and see what happens.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 2:11PM
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True....I'll give it a go regardless and doing research is an occupation for me, so it's always tempting to push the limits and see what is and is not possible. I'll try and see what happens, although any other tips/suggestions would be most helpful in nursing CM along. I'll most definitely give updates on how the situation progresses. I will pick up a slightly larger pot today as CM is probably root bound to an extent in the gallon container.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 2:19PM
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serenasyh(was 5/now Z 8-Kans)

Jeffcat I may be your first experimental volunteer. I have no idea how to harden off my tree roses. It just seems too risky. If I get a sudden freeze I am screwed! I was thinking of hardening them off before bringing them inside, but I am one big chicken because of the risk of killing frosts/freezing rains and beginning of November all the way to April 15 seems wayyyyyy too long to keep a tree rose in a dark garage! With my other potted roses, I can easily carry them and 2 will be buried in the ground. Plus I have a very! uncooperative boyfriend who won't help me bring them in and out all the time. When my Gemini was first bought, it was very light and easy to carry in its small pot. Not anymore! I can't even budge it an inch!

I have very large East facing living room windows (close to floor to ceiling height and they span the entire length of my living room) but sadly! this is not!!!! the same thing as a sunroom where the entire tree rose can be bathed in light. If I had a sunroom, I'd definitely do it without a moment's hesitation. With my climate, boyfriend I am thinking poor Gemini has had 4 major traumas, survived them all and now this???? a crazy living room experiment??? sheesh!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 2:25PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

I had a friend who successfully grew roses in a sunroom that was separated from the rest of the house by French doors. With windows all around, it got sufficent light and the closed doors kept the room cooler than the rest of the house. There was a humidifier in the room and it didn't get much of the dry heated air that is the death to many winter grown indoor plants.
If your window is able to be enclosed to control the humidity and keep out the dry heated air it may work, but I wonder if you would get sufficent light during the short daylight hours in December and early January? The bush may go dormant or get long thin pale growth unless additional lighting was supplied. The one time I tried it in my basement with lights ended up a total failure. I don't even consider it now.
Then there's the problem with those tiny white flies that appear seemingly from nowhere. You'll also get blackspot and mildew so you may have to spray, not a good idea indoors.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 3:40PM
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Thanks Karl. It's good to hear that at least it's possible. Humidity isn't a huge issue in my house as it stays rather moist, especially in the kitchen area, however winter does draw in low humidity so moisture will be at a premium. On a semi-positive note, it will be in a somewhat encased area. It is an outset window from the wall of the house right above the sink.....essentially a little greenhouse minus the open side facing the kitchen. With a good size rose in a small area and keeping CM watered, it may be able to keep some humidity in that general area better. Definately a trial and error scenario though. Now that you mentioned growing lights, I do have a small flourescant light above the window box....I just now remembered as I havn't used it once since I've move in. :)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 3:59PM
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serenasyh(was 5/now Z 8-Kans)

That is one hopeful news Karl! I am thinking about having both sunlight with all the tall window shades fully pulled up and at night using one of those energy bulbs that are shaped like coils (they look more like fluorescents to me than just ordinary light bulbs). Could this help? Another idea, before I bring them in the first of November, if I hose down my tree roses with dormancy spray will this help against insects and blackspot? Or will dormancy spray kill off all the leaves as well and make the entire rose dormant? I would hope that lime sulfur is very benign as well to humans.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 4:28PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

I understand that Lily Shohan did it for years -- bring small Tea Roses into her New England home for the winter.

I really ought to ask Lily how she did that.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 6:04PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Lily had the house custom built for it :-) Seriously, that's what she told me.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 6:45PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

I believe you!
Nothing is too good for our roses!


    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 7:27PM
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serenasyh(was 5/now Z 8-Kans)

Wow, I bet she had to really design it to get both sunlight and to hide the ugly flourescent lights as well. I imagine it had to be hidden into cove ceiling lighting. hehe! it would be so fun if she were to be able to send you a photo Gallica of how she took on this endeavor. Plus it would be a fun sight to see tea roses indoors.

Everyone if my tree roses indeed survive my experiment, I'll have to post the title:

"Miracle Tree Roses Survive the Living Room" hahahaha! I'm sure it'd provide comic relief to see a photo of tree roses growing by the couch.

On a side note, when Karl posted some of his winter protection photos, I especially enjoyed the Shhhh roses sleeping banner.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 7:53PM
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flower2sew(z6 Indep MO)

Last year I wintered over some precious little cuttings that I didn't want to lose outside. I also rooted some florist roses. I grew them under lights and ran a humidifier. The lights controlled the legginess. But the spider mites and gnats were a pain. You don't want to use nasty chemicals in your house. And they were in our bedroom. Orchids are easier inside than roses. I would not want to try a full size rose. It would be a lot easier to let them go dormant in the ground.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 8:38PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

Dormancy spray will kill off all the leaves as well and make the entire rose dormant? Read the label warnings to determine if lime sulfur is benign to humans. A shallow pan of water with pebbles in it to set the potted plant on will help with humidity. Just make sure the water is not so deep as to soak in from the bottom.
Regarding lighting,
1. If you're trying to grow roses in the house, do you really care what the light fixtures looks like?
2. To get the correct light spectrum, you should use grow lights or long flourescent tubes. On a two light fixture use one cool white and one warm white bulb for the proper light spectrum.
It'll still be a crap shoot as to whether or not the roses will survive or do well. Each house has it's own conditions plus your care of the plants is a big factor.
Odds are not in your favor, but should you decide to take on this mission we'll disavow any knowledge of it.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 10:33PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Spider mites, spider mites, spider mites.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 11:53PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Should be an interesting winter for you guys...LOL
I'd like to hear the results that come out of all this.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 12:01AM
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It can be done, but you will have to jump through some hoops to do it, and you will need to set your expectations lower than usual, in terms of yield.

- Lower light levels = sparse bloom. In January/Febrary you can expect no bloom and only some leggy, soft growth.

- Insects: Whitefly, Aphids and especially Spider Mites. Expect to battle all three all Winter long.

- You will probably experience Mildew to some degree, perhaps a crippling degree. This is hard to deal with since you shouldn't use fungicides on indoor plants.

- Full sized roses are less suitable than Miniatures, which tend to be more forgiving and easier to coax into bloom under less than ideal conditions.

- Considering that last item: Fluorescent lights in sets of four tubes, a few inches from the plants will yield reasonable results with Miniatures.

Been there, done this, found it far less than satisfactory considering the extra effort required and the poor yield. YMMV, so go for it.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 11:10AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

The reason I've done this in the past was to get newly rooted cuttings through the winter. It's not a matter of getting many, if any, flowers, but having living, reasonably healthy plants in April.

First off, it is every bit as hard as people say to overwinter roses in normally heated living space. The colder the space, the easier it is. A cold basement, that was pooh-poohed for overwintering dormant roses, works for this. Regular fluorescents work fine, but the fixture should be sized for the size rose. Two-tubes are fine for first year cuttings. Older, larger roses will do noticably better with 4-tubes.

Because of the coolness of the space, humidity will probably be reasonable. The climate factors alone will keep spider mites manageable. Aphids and whiteflies are controllable with insecticides meant for houseplants. I've never had real disease problems in the basement. Baking soda spray or milk spray shouldn't be a problem for mildew, though.

All in all, roses in the basement are absolute cake compared to trying to overwinter peppers.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 11:28AM
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cecily(7 VA)

I overwinter first year bands indoors -- they get schlepped in at night and out during the day for Nov & Dec, then stay indoors only for Jan and the first half of Feb, then back to schlepping for late Feb-March. Like MG, I use milk spray to coat the upper and lower leaf surfaces: it protects against mildew & spider mites. They don't bloom but do continue root growth and some stem growth.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 12:00PM
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le_jardin_of_roses(zone 10)

Also, roses have deep roots, unless they are mini-roses and a pot of at least 18"by 18" would be required and bigger pots are heavier. Watering might be an issue, as roses need plenty of water during the growing season and the water will drain onto the floor unless you figure out a way to contain the water. I still don't want to discourage you, Jeff. Like Paul said, you will have to jump through hoops, but you seem like the mad scientist type. :)


    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 12:24PM
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susz52(5a Ont Ca)

I over winter a lot of plants. None of them roses, even minis struggle indoors. I have a south facing sliding glass door that gives lots of light and allows me to let fresh air in and control temperature, I have additional grow lights, I run a humidifier, and a ceiling fan is on 24/7. I can shut the french doors to the rest of the house and all the plants do well and even continue to flower.
I over winter geraniums [regals, zonal and ivy], begonias, Dracenus [mine is over 4 years old], Lantanas [one is over 4 years old], hibiscus, rooted rose cuttings, brugsma cuttings and whatever I fancy keeping as an experiment plus my handful of house plants.

Any plant that lived out doors during the summer gets pruned severely and repotted in fresh soil if possible then goes in a garbage bag or garbage pail [with lid] and gets a spray of house and garden raid, close the container and left for a few hours then brought directly in the house. I have had few problems but can always close the room of and spray again. The first year I didn't know better and LOL was invaded with white flies.
Water sparingly and do not feed heavy until a plant shows flower buds. I had geraniums, begonias, and hibiscus flowering at christmas time.
I don't fancy trying a large sized rose bush indoors but if I did I would try a Florist Rose not an Austin, BUT I could be wrong. There is nothing to lose by trying. I think manage the size the bush had to support may be key and lots of support to the branches because the rose is going to get lanky. I would also mist the leaves on a regular basis and water lightly and not feed at all until late winter unless flower buds are formed. Interested in hearing form you how it goes. Susan R

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 1:19PM
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Thanks for the wealth of info. Very helpful. To be more descriptive, the window box linked below is nearly identical to what I have at my place, although mine may be a few inches narrower. While it is obviously not encased, with a rose filling a lot of the space, it may be able to contain some moisture in that confined area. Also during the winter, the window glass will be cold making the temps semi-cooler due to the cold temps radiating from the glass and whatever condensation forms on the glass due to the cold.

I'm going to assume my major combatants are insects and mildew off hand. I think what I may plan to do right off the bat here is get Christopher Marlowe in a larger pot. All of my other container roses(8 I believe now?) are in 20" containers.........obviously WAY too big for the window box in which case I can only slide a 16" pot in or coax and shift an 18" pot in, although I need something fairly wide and short just so CM has room to grow vertically. Luckily, CM is very floriferous, very short, compact growth, and readily repeats nonstop which are some reasons I chose CM for the task.

Roots with container roses tend to be a problem. I'm hoping CM has a much smaller root network considering it is a smaller rose(seems almost mini-like to me), however it will eventually fill the container which leads me to believe I should keep in mind cutting down roots down the road and try to establish a network of smaller, feeder type roots as Juliet explained the roots will want to seek out deeper soil....that isn't there.

The other scenario is trying to keep the mildew and insects out. I trimmed CM back yesterday, will repot him today, but before bring CM inside, I will hit him a few times with insecticide and fungicide to try to have CM as disease free and insect/egg free before he enters the house(after the fungicide/insecticide has washed away of course). One thing the area doesn't get is a lot of circulation which may invite some disease problems with the predicted moist, stagnant air. On the other hand though, temperatures in the window box may be locally cool enough in the winter to help fend some disease off and I could add a fan to the room if deemed necessary.

All in all.........a nice little experimental challenge to partake in this winter......whether it be enjoying a decent amount of blooms or cussing up a storm. : )

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 2:16PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

Your picture should show snow and leafless trees outside the windows, not green leafed trees. It would make your argument for growing plants indoors much better.
Your room looks to be an ideal place for growing any plant indoors during winter.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 2:46PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.


Here's some snow for you Susz52...LOL

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 4:15PM
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serenasyh(was 5/now Z 8-Kans)

Thanks Trospero and Karl. I found online instructions about how to apply lime sulfur and sheeeesh! Protective gear, goggles, overalls/coveralls??? like when does Miss Prissy girl ever! wear overalls and goggles! Heck I've even worn skirts while watering my plants.

Susz, little wonder you can grow plants indoors! I too which I had full sliding doors as well! But then if I had full sliding doors I wouldn't have to worry about squeezing my tree roses in and out of a single door and the huge distance it'd take to lug them back and forth, hence being forced to keep my tree roses indoors. Well, I guess I'll get the ugly fluorescent lights then.

Karl, I'm still a bit confused. I read that lime sulfur can actually used in a more dilute fashion during the growing season. So I'm taking this to mean that so long as I use a smaller dosage, the leaves should be fine and will continue to grow/photosynthesize indoors. Is this correct? I am planning to bring in tree roses once I've applied the lime sulfur and that it has dried for 2 days.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 4:15PM
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serenasyh(was 5/now Z 8-Kans)

I meant I wish I had sliding doors, not which. Sliding doors would have solved many of my dilemmas.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 4:33PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Our house doesn't have the right type of windows to even attempt to grow roses indoors in the winter or summer.
So, that's not an option for me to try with my potted rose which will need overwintered someplace else.

I'm going to try and over-winter under our front porch, which is closed in.
That is plan A. If successful, i'll grow more potted roses next season.

Plan B is i'm digging a huge deep hole before the ground gets hard.

If the Temps don't work out with Plan A under the porch, I will put Plan B into action...LOL

Gee, the things we go through...LOL


    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 7:06PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

Here's the warning label on the Bonide Oil and Lime Sulfur product.
Fatal if swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through skin. This product is corrosive to flesh because
of its caustic alkaline nature and it causes irreversible eye damage and skin burns. Do not breathe
dust, vapor or spray mist or get in eyes, on skin or on clothing. Wear coveralls over long-sleeved
shirt and long pants, socks, chemical resistant footwear and waterproof gloves, a dust/mist filtering
respirator (MSHA/NIOSH approval number prefix TC-21C) or a NIOSH approved respirator
with any R, P, or HE filter must be worn by flaggers and mixers/loaders. Use protective eyewear
such as goggles or face shield. Wear chemical resistant headgear to protect from overhead exposure
and wear a chemical resistant apron when mixing or loading this pesticide. Wash thoroughly
with soap and water after handling and before eating, drinking and using tobacco. Remove contaminated
clothing and wash before reuse. Do not enter treated areas without protective clothing
until sprays have dried.

There are no directions on the bottle for use at a more dilute mixture to control insects and diseases during the growing season. The only direction I've seen over the years is for use as a dormant spray in early spring, winter, or fall. If used as directed it will damage the leaves and cause them to fall off.
Use other than that described on the label is against the law. I don't advise trying to use it anyway other than described. Any damage caused to your roses or yourself is not reversible.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bonide Oil and Lime Sulfur spray label.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 9:01PM
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serenasyh(was 5/now Z 8-Kans)

eeeks! Thanks Karl! I am thinking that the reason for all my confusion is that I found Bonide's Lime and Sulfur spray! not the oil and lime sulfur mix.

Here is my link in which it mentions the dilute mix for summer foliage.

what about just lime and sulfur spray?.

But geez this stuff all sounds dangerous, because if I have to wait two days for it to dry, then what about my dog? we have to cross the patio where the tree roses are all the time. whoo-boy! any other safer suggestions, Karl?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 12:24AM
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susz52(5a Ont Ca)

LOL, oh Karl, I took the picture in early May because it was an unusual time for the Lantana to bloom again. It was too cold for my plants to go out yet. But the plants look the same with snow outside. It never occurred to me to take indoor pictures of my house guests, wonder why?. I just included the picture to show the light conditions. M'bad. LoL I never thought about snow! Jim let me share right back. What a hoot. It really does snow here too in the banana belt of Canada.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 12:26AM
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AnneCecilia z5 MI

I've quickly scanned down the previous posts and didn't see anyone mention that modern insulated glass windows are now commonly using argon gas or low-E coatings to reduce the damaging rays of the sun and make the glass more energy efficient. If your windows are in this category, the light for plant growing is somewhat compromised. I grew large potted roses through last winter as an experiment. They were in front of south facing windows in my walk-out basement level. I supplemented the daylight with a four tube full spectrum fluorescent fixture such as is recommended for people suffering from SADD (DH is an electrician and had the fixture "in stock.") The roses grew, but even with the supplemental light suspended just above them on chains, they were spindly. And it was a real chore to haul the pots into the bathroom shower every single week to give them a complete hosing down - the only way I could keep the aphids, spider mites and diseases at bay without resorting to chemicals inside my house (which I was not willing to do.) It was work to keep them going, plain and simple, so keep that in mind.
All in all, my African Violets are much more fun in winter.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 12:01PM
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serenasyh(was 5/now Z 8-Kans)

That is so cool! Annececilia! your indoor roses look very happy! wow, blooms too???? those are such pretty, lovely SHOCKERS! hee-hee! They look fantastic in my eyes. Thanks so much for the photo. It was a real delight to see.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 4:02PM
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I'm not sure what kind of glass is used in the window box, although it will get more light than the area you showed in your picture. I'm assuming it allows light through simply because it's a planter's window box, so I would hope the manufacturer would put the proper window glass in, but hey I guess you never know haha. CM is going pretty good. I purchased an 16x18 fiberglass decor pot for a fantastic price of $18(originally $60), but the pot is so big that it takes up a huge amount of space in the window box and it weighs a TON since there is nothing to grab it with unlike my 20" plastic containers with lips to grab with. It might be quite a challenge just getting it up to the window box. It weighs every bit of 70lbs......not much, but a lot with nothing to grab and manuever above a sink.

On a side note, I went out today and saw Golden Celebration BOOMING in it's 20" pot. GC has been nothing more than impressive while only being in a container for about a little more than a month. My Heirloom bands of Pretty Jessica and Sharifa Asma also have multiple buds and will bloom soon after a little less than a month in their 20" pots. Same goes for my High Country Bands of Evelyn and Winchester Cathedral in 20" pots. Evelyn is MASSIVE. Has only been in a pot for about a month and is bigger than my Bishop's Castle rose that I purchased at a nursery potted as a 2 year old plant. I can't believe how large that "band" has become in such a short time..........and of course Abe Darby......blooming like mad and only been in a container for well less than a month(couple weeks?). I sat outside today by the Buddleia and watched the dozens of bumblebees in the yard. They have infiltrated my yard to the point where it almost seems like a problem. Luckily, the Buddleia is right outside my large picture window in the living room so I can watch them go at it all day. Amazingly enough........I can actually PET the bumblebees. I sat outside in a chair today while well over a dozen of them were having a hayday and I was petting one of them and they didn't have a care in the world. So focused on eyeing the prize I guess haha.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 5:02PM
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susz52(5a Ont Ca)

Jim, I don't see why it would not work to overwinter potted roses on your enclosed porch. I overwinter some of my zone sensitive potted roses in my detached unheated garage successfully, and your porch may not be as cold. I try to block them from getting any light after I set them in the garage once it snows and forget them until the snow is all gone. I have good luck stowing potted lilies and some other plants this way. Not Dahlias though, I found out that doesn't work.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 5:28PM
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serenasyh(was 5/now Z 8-Kans)

Sob! Jeffcat, I wanna have bumblebees to pet! tears! Everything of yours sounds so wonderful! Wow, massive blooms! Photos, photos, photos! I want bumblebee photos! How thrilling to be able to have a feast for them!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 5:41PM
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AnneCecilia z5 MI

Jeffcat, I should have noted that in my photo the upper part of the windows was covered with opaque fabric for the night to protect the African Violets on the upper shelf from the cold radiating off the glass. I dropped it at dusk and tied it up during the day to allow full light. It's really pretty bright in that corner of the basement, but of course not as bright as it would be in a 4-sided window box. Good luck with your plants this winter!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 7:09PM
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jim_w_ny(Zone 5a)

Quickly scanned the many posts here. Just thought I would add my comments about overwintering roses in my greenhouse. It is somewhat sizeable, 8x16', glazed with double acrylic stuff used by commercial greenhouses and sided with double glass. It is about 10 to 20 degrees warmer inside so manage to endure real cold much better than outside.

Most, except HT's, are planted in the ground for the rest of their life. Bloom of course much sooner than those in the ground. I haven't tried it but they should do well all year round.

Now with a little heat I should be able to grow real Teas and Chinas. Might not cost that much as I would only need to do that in the death of winter. Hey that's an idea!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 8:02AM
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I am not trying to be argumentative, but in my experience wintering potted full size roses is relatively easy. It is simply a matter of space (keeping in mind that growth rates are affected by temperature so even though vegetative growth will continue, it will slow. As far as light, don't use tube fluorescent lights, they are inefficient and don't provide light focal points to encourage directed growth, instead use the equally efficient compact fluorescent (cfl). They are available up to 60 watts at home depot/lowes and the like, and with a medium base you can plug into a normal socket. Get one 3000k and one 6000k to balance spectral light and keep about 7 inches off plants. These are huge cfls, so they need an open mouth fixture. (Remember not equivalent to a 65 watt incandescent, but rather a true, as in using, 65 watt cfl, and they are big about 3 times the size of a normal bulb, but they only cost about 15$ a pop and one will do an adult rose.)
Also just remember to prune, maintain size and pinch.
Use mild fertilizers like worm tea, kelp, or seaweed, and soil additives like bat guano, worm castings, and a little compost to support mycorrhizae development in the soil which will contribute to more efficient nutrient uptake by the plant.
You can do it, millions already have, just ask any florist or rose enthusiast in December, and they'll tell you their closet is awfully rosy...

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 7:41PM
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This thread is rather elderly, but I wonder if anyone who was trying to grow roses indoors has had any luck or has any further advice?

I will soon be moving from a house with a garden to a condo with likely no outdoor space at all. Hopefully though it will be one with very large south facing windows and high ceilings. I have a rose in my garden I'm really loath to leave behind and since I may well have no choice in the matter, will try to grow it indoors (it's own-growth root and I have started four cuttings already).

I have an idea for growing it up a wall (it's a climber) in a planter on a bed of pebbles in some sort of huge tray (possibly custom made). This way I can maybe keep it in some humidity by keeping the pebbles moist - water feature? - and maybe, if I can build it properly, have it set up so I can hose the thing down every once in a while. I don't mind if it becomes dormant in winter, btw. It doesn't need to be flowering constantly to keep me happy, just living and thriving as normally as possible..

I would love to hear back from anyone who's grown full sized roses indoors with any success (the naysayers are already well-represented, thank you ;-)

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 6:46PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Try Justinian's suggestions on lighting (previous post) and see what happens. I would think you would need supplemental light even with a big south facing window. Sufficient light and spider mites are your big challenges. Keep in mind that a rose uses the energy of the sun to be able to produce those big flowers. Light, light, light.

A humidifier to adjust humidity is going to be more effective than a tray of wet pebbles. I'm sure it can be done if you are willing to devote time, patience, space, and money to it, though you might kill some roses in the learning of it.

I always think of my Father-In-Law's comment on doing anything successfully--you can have it fast, you can have it cheap, you can have it good--pick two. Fast and good? Not cheap. Cheap and fast? Not good. Good and cheap? Not fast...

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 1:28AM
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Hi Rosegrrl, I have been growing roses indoors over 20 years, It isnt recommended if you cant provide for their needs. Simply put, dont do it. Especially if you are attached to this plant, Roses need at the very least a very sunny window with all day full of sunshine and a constant humidity of at least 40 to 50 percent if these two needs are not met the plant will slowly weaken and die. But it can be done, dont let anybody say otherwise. do they do better outdoors? yes, and their care is certainly much easer.I built a mini green house (well sort of) and use 5 sets of 4 foot florescent lights with a humidifier. It isnt the best looking set up but it serves its purpose. there is space in my stand for about 8 pots, the plants are brought inside at the end of december and it takes them a couple of weeks to get going. At about the end of january they start to set buds. I will get about 2 bloom cycles before I put them back outside in April. The only real problems I have are spider mites. I use insecticidal soap for those critters. there is no blackspot or mildew because the stand is enclosed and the temps are in the high 80's during the day. You have stated that there is not a lot of options as far as having a yard, thats too bad because I dont see how a climber can be kept inside. Maybe your idea of trying to grow it up a wall will work but the moist pebbles wont work (they didnt for me) a humidifier works better, but if the room is big you may have to run two of them. good luck and keep us posted on what happens, Bob.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 1:56AM
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Hello, all! Very happy to find this thread today!
I'm having an indoor rose aphid problem. I read through the posts - and some other pages as well - and am going to try the garlic w/ 1 tsp soap mix on my rose when I get home. I will post about how it turns out!

For now though - this is the infestation I've got. :/
I am a little bit new to gardening; I always helped my Father with his rose garden when I was growing up, but this year is my first year with my own. I've had indoor potted roses for a few years, usually minis. I've never really had many problems with them before though. Minis are pretty tough lil guys. (I actually have one that is planted in my garden that is still blooming despite the snow on the ground!)

This time I have a David Austin Charity rose that I'm attempting to get started indoors. I purchased it late in the season, and I did not think it was established enough to survive outdoors with my planted minis during the winter. Therefore, I am not trying so much to get a lot of blooms, but rather keep it alive and as healthy as possible until spring when I can transplant it to its permanent home.

I just wanted to post this picture before I go spraying things in case there were any suggestions specific to this. :) I'm fairly certain that these are adult winged female aphids. Before I left for Thanksgiving vacation I found the little green aphids all over it, and I gave it a hard spraying and pruned it back hoping that would help. When I returned, it looks like this now. :(

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 4:13PM
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CossecaRose_z3(Zone 3)

I grew a hybrid tea (Black Madonna, zone 6) a few years ago in a very large clay pot outside. I was overwintering it in the unheated, attached garage. It had done well overwintering in there the year before. I brought it out into the living room, (I think it was in February, I was starving for flowers!) where there were large South-facing windows. It leafed out, and produced two beautiful blooms that helped with my February-rose Fever! The blooms hadn't faded yet, but already in a few days they were quite heavily infested with spider mites. Once it was safe outside, I brought it out. It suffered for a while that summer from the spider mite infestation. I think I might try again this winter, and prune/pinch it to prevent it from being leggy, apply insecticidal soap, mist it, maybe I'll keep a bag of manure in the garage to feed it once a month or so... Boy was it great though to have such big beautiful blooms for a bit in the dead of winter! We get alot of snow and usually a week of -40C every winter. I'd be willing to try it again.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 3:00PM
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