Last year I bought a potted mini rose. When it started doing poorly on the windowsill, I decided to let it try its luck outdoors. It turned out to be two plants and they both took off. Here's one last year:

Mini rose

As you can see, it's up against a shed. This is southern Ontario and the front faces south. Between those things, I was hoping it would survive the winter. I also built up the soil around it to shield the roots a little more, but I don't really know what I'm doing in this department.

But the sad result this spring can be seen in this gallery.

Just before I dig them up and put something else there — maybe full roses, since one has done well a few metres away — are they as hopeless as they look or can I revive them?

1 Answer 1


Gosh I hate to be the bearer of bad news. Hopefully this will never happen to you again. Those roses are completely dead, pull them and dispose of the soil, bleach the pots before using again.

Mini roses from a florist are meant for using but a short time. The biggest mistake you made was to take that plant from indoors to the out of doors without the normal 2 to 3 week period of acclimatization. Usually those mini roses do not do well transplanted to the garden even with proper acclimatization; they are usually wimpy in the lower zones. If this rose is in a pot (not sure) those roots are now exposed and vulnerable to the cold. Plants acclimated and growing in the garden soil will be fine as long as they match your zone specifics. Plants in pots have to come indoors or in a heated greenhouse or die. I would never transplant a mini rose into any zone below 6 into the garden soil. Those plants are pretty much short term perishables.

Remember to ask us before you do anything with plants or the garden or the landscape so we can save you lots of time and money. Honest.

  • Thanks! "You were ever the bearer of ill news, Gandalf Stormcrow." No, it's all right. It was bought as table decor for an occasion, so the fact that it survived and flourished all summer came as a nice surprise and I couldn't ask for more. They're not pots but I can change the soil when I dig them out... Is there anything I should know before I put in rosebushes? What's a variety that would be likelier to withstand long Ontario winters? Commented May 24, 2018 at 2:11
  • hummmm, depends on what you want or imagine doing? Fluffy low profuse shrub roses or tea roses? You can ask another question...if those roses aren't in pots forget about 'changing the soil'...I worry about planting the same genus of plant in the same soil where that genus died. There are safer options...?
    – stormy
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 2:18
  • Hmm, okay. I'll go away and do some exploring of options... Commented May 24, 2018 at 2:21

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