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Roses as Houseplants – Can you grow roses indoors?


Can you grow roses as houseplants? The answer might surprise you. Indeed, this flower, often gifted to others, makes a beautiful indoor plant. However, you need to consider providing ideal conditions.

While theoretically you might grow other types, the miniature rose remains the most common. Obviously, the size factors into the consideration for the popularity.

However, the other varieties are becoming more popular. Miniature roses require the highest amount of light, If that is a problem, select a species that can thrive in partial shade. We offer many shade tolerant varieties in this article. Climbing varieties on a trellis make a dramatic indoor presentation. Miniature climbing species can be grouped together in larger containers for a gorgeous display.


 “There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson



Light, Temperature, Humidity

Outdoor roses flourish in the summer sunshine. Indoors, they also require quite a bit of direct sunlight. In fact, they need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. And that provides a challenge for many homeowners.

Ideally, southern or western exposure windows work best. Alternatively, use a full-spectrum sunlamp to furnish or supplement the natural sunlight.

Temperature needs to be considered, too. The ideal daytime temperature is 70-75°F (21-24°C). And the nighttime ideal should remain about 60°F (15°C). They tolerate a little range outside of these parameters, but not much.

They require good air circulation which most homes provide. And this helps them resist many diseases.

However, they will not tolerate cold drafts. So you need to plan their location away from air conditioner ducts and doors that open frequently.

Even with perfect indoor temperatures, your roses might develop problems if your home is especially dry. To increase the humidity, set the pot on a humidity tray. This is just a tray covered with pebbles and containing water. The pebbles prevent the pot from pulling in too much water and also prevent clogging of the drain holes. This passive humidity boost works day and night to keep your roses happy.

Water and Feeding

Watering must also be carefully managed. Use the finger test. If the top of the soil feels damp, all is well. But, you need to allow the top inch of the soil to dry before watering again. However, it is essential that you not allow the rose to completely dry out between waterings.

During the growing months, use a fertilizer meant for roses to feed your plants. Most need to be applied at least once a month

Remove each flower as it is done blooming. This encourages more blooms to appear and keeps the plant clean. Also remove any yellow or brown leaves if they appear.

You need to periodically trim your roses. Cut each cane back to just above the last leaf that has five leaflets. This encourages flowering and new growth.

Indoor roses perform best when repotted one a year. Use a fertilizer-rich potting mix that drains well. Consider the pot size, too. You may need to move your plants to larger pots during the annual repotting.


“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”

– Emma Goldman

Repotting your rose houseplant

Indoor roses perform best when repotted one a year. Use a fertilizer-rich potting mix that drains well. Consider the pot size, too. You may need to move your plants to larger pots during the annual repotting.

Starting new roses as houseplants

Ideally, plant your indoor roses in winter months such as January or February. During winter the plants are dormant.

You need a deep container approximately as wide as the plant’s canopy will be. Your pot needs good drainage, usually through bottom drainage holes.

Choose a soil mix that provides good drainage and contains nutrients. Most potting soil mixes will work as long as they have a neutral pH, but some growers use a peat soil for its drainage. You may use your own mix of regular potting soil blended with perlite or vermiculite. Use 2 parts soil to 1 part perlite. This allows for the excellent drainage necessary.

Your new plants require the same temperature, humidity, and light as the established ones. However, they may be a little less resilent to changes.

Varieties to consider

With so many rose fanciers, the available varieties for growing both indoor and out continues to grow. One list we found for color varieties of miniature roses was by Stan V. Griep.

He suggests:

  • Dr. KC Chan (yellow)
  • Salute (red)
  • Ivory Palace (white)
  • Autumn Splendor (yellow and red blend)
  • Arcanum (white with red kissed edges)
  • Winter Magic (light lavender and very fragrant)
  • Coffee Bean (dark russet)
  • Sequoia Gold (yellow)
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“Just remember, during the winter, far beneath the bitter snow, that there’s a seed that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes a rose.”    – Bette Midler

sun-loving houseplants

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