defoliation of rose
I recently bought a bare root Mr. Lincoln rose. I waited for a week or so before I planted it, but now it started to lose all its leaves. It grows new leaves and then loses all the old ones repeatedly. I planted it in a container about four weeks ago. I would like to keep it in a container, but is that what is causing the problems? It has a proper drain whole with rocks in the bottom to help with drainage. If that is not it, is there anything that can save my rose?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

"Roses can grow indefinitely in a container if they have a large enough root volume, a good potting mix, and receive the proper care.  Rocks at the bottom of the container actually harm drainage rather than help it. It's fine to cover the drainage holes with a piece of broken pottery, but avoid placing rocks at the bottom of the container. They only serve to reduce the rooting volume.

I suspect that your Mr. Lincoln rose is still in transplant shock. Bare root plants should be planted immediately. Otherwise the fine roots dessicate and die. The plant must first regenerate those lost roots before it can support any leaves and top growth. The plant will try to leaf out, but when it doesn't get adequate moisture and nutrients from roots, the leaves will die. Then it has to go through the process again. By now your rose may have some roots and perhaps the cycle will end."

Answered by BHGgardenEditors