enter image description hereI have rose plants in my home garden and they are quite old like 3 years. This plant was doing so good but suddenly it's leaves are started getting yellow and fell down. Even the new tiny leaves are suddenly got yellow and fell. Even the flower are not as good as earlier. Any suggestions how to prevent this

  • Hi there Mansi! We can help you for sure but we need a picture. Where is it that you live? Do you mulch the bottoms of the roses over their graft for the winter? Then remove the mulch for the growing season? Yellow leaves at the bottom means low nitrogen usually. Yellow new growth is worrisome. Please send pictures, tell us where you live, what planting zone and what you've done for fertilizer...looking forward to seeing your roses!
    – stormy
    Aug 3, 2019 at 5:17
  • You have used the tag 'houseplants' - are your roses growing in pots indoors? And it would be really helpful to see a photo...
    – Bamboo
    Aug 3, 2019 at 9:49
  • I have removed the wrong tag, pots are not indoor, they are in balcony. Aug 3, 2019 at 12:14
  • @stormy I have attached a image, you can see, small,new growing leaves are yellow and will fell down in a day, i have used fertilizer with nitrogen,phosphorous, and potash few days back. I live in Mumbai and its monsoon season over here. Aug 3, 2019 at 12:16
  • Yeah, the more I think about this Mansi, this is fertilizer burn and the monsoon leached your soil of enough of the over fertilizer and saved your plant! Gosh, there is an awful lot of healthy looking new leaf buds...and you fertilized just before this die back.
    – stormy
    Aug 3, 2019 at 22:44

1 Answer 1


Mansi, I didn't know these were in pots on a balcony. That helps. Your comment about doing fertilizing JUST before this happened? is telling. Something changed and usually it is about fertilizer. Sounds about the same time, yes?

What exactly did you use? How much? Be brutally honest here. What was the formulation of NPK? Take a picture of the bag front and back or give me the name to look up. I guess I don't have to worry about you having winters, now do I?! ha ha ha! What kind of drainage have you got going in this pot. Monsoon time is wet wet wet and your rose needs perfect drainage to handle that much water. Is there a way to get your rose out of the rain and under a roof out of doors, not indoors?

I am seeing 'healthy' new leaf buds, I think. Many of them. The leaves are yellowing from the tip and margins inwards...totally salt burn or rather fertilizer burn. The monsoons could have flushed the soil of fertilizer so thoroughly...I think the monsoon saved your rose...and thus you see major life coming back. This is one hypothesis.

The other is too much water.

Please send a few more pictures. A close up of this picture and one of the entire pot, plant and environment. And maybe one of the bag of fertilizer.

What kind of soil did you use? I know after answering questions from all over the world on Stack Exchange, potting soil seems to be an American thing, hard to find in India, Africa, China...even Holland. Nurseries seem to sell potting soil made from Garden soil with no potting medium or sterilization. Garden soil is a big no no for any potted plant.

Garden soil, for lots of reasons doesn't belong in pots or planters. Garden soil compacts and doesn't drain well at all not to mention insects and disease with none of the moderators in the garden proper. Roots have to have air. Leaves need CO2. Pore spaces in the soil need to empty of water right away and let the air back in. Too wet too long the roots starve of O2 and start rotting anaerobically. Also very stinky.

Did you use gravel or rock beneath the soil and above the drain hole? This would exacerbate the drainage badly. This causes a 'perched water table' where the soil has to become saturated BEFORE the water moves very slowly into the gravel to drain. Water saturated soil will suffocate the roots.

One of two problems I can guess at this point; too much water with poor drainage (perched water table or garden soil) and/or fertilizer burn. In both cases, that soil has to be replaced. You might have to make your own soil and we can help with that. Very time consuming, you still need to find proper potting soil medium amendments and boy howdy does cooking soil STINK. As you repot/transplant check out the condition of the roots. Look for brown or mushy roots and notice the smell. Remove as much of the damaged roots as possible if they are there. Gently remove the old stinky soil as much as possible before transplanting. Please let me know what you used for soil and if you have ever seen 'potting' soil for sale? Is there a place in your yard in your garden for this rose?

There might be other ways to have your roses and smell them not the cooking soil...too.

I am working with a friend in India, Delhi, to make potting soil for India and beyond! You have so little land to have a private garden you HAVE to use pots! Again, it is a big no no to use garden soil from the garden proper in pots or planters or planter-like raised beds.

Stay in touch!

  • Thank you for the such detail answer, drainage seems fine as water is not clogging in Pot, about soil, I put garden soil along with coco pit to store keep the soil wet. I will see if I can repot this plant to another pot. Aug 5, 2019 at 5:47
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    There is a hole in the bottom, yes? Try to find sterilized potting mix, any plant in a pot deserves this medium. I'd like to see the entire plant...
    – stormy
    Aug 5, 2019 at 6:53
  • what is sterilized potting mix? Aug 5, 2019 at 7:14
  • Plants in pots need every bit of help we can give them to survive. Garden soil is mixed up with pathogens and insects and in the garden proper there are checks and balances. Not so from a scoop of soil. So there are bagged, commercially made and COOKED potting soil mediums, very little soil is even in these bagged mediums. But they offer superior drainage. Sterilized bagged potting soil medium mixes are very inexpensive over here. I sure hope that you are able to get this stuff. Someone should start a business over there making potting soil!
    – stormy
    Aug 5, 2019 at 7:58
  • Mixing garden soil with vermiculite, perlite, works better than just garden soil. Potting soil is a commercial potting soil medium, has been sterilized by heat. Sometimes UV. There is very little if any actual soil in sterilized potting soil. Please go out to look for sterilized potting MEDIUM. In your stores. Can't imagine ordering this stuff off the internet...heavy stuff. But garden soil should never be used in pots or raised gardens.
    – stormy
    Aug 6, 2019 at 19:45

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