Small Seedling and Winter

I am not sure what to do with one of my seedlings. It one that I would like to keep but it has had some troubles. It started as a strong growing seedling but it had to suffer through some tough treatment as I was moving to my new home.

It never got much of sun exposure and when it did, the leaves yellowed and fell off. It tried to regrow from a bud at its base but the new growth got removed by a soccer ball that nocked the pot over. After that the main stem died and it stayed like that till now. Its growing a small set of leaves right at its base.

I really want this one to survive. Should I just keep in in a window or put it in the garage and try to see if it makes it through winter.

What do you usually do with a very small seedling you want to keep through winter. Put it in a window and hope for the best?

Its an Autumn Sunset x Apple Jack and has very nice orange single flowers. Even has apple scented leaves.

The plant sounds very small: could it be grown along side your 2007 seedlings?

Unfortunately, I have not been able to do any hybridizing this summer due to my move from Nebraska to Idaho. WOnt have a seedling area for a while either.

I guess I should have asked if subjecting the seedling to cooler temps would kill it or put it into a dormant state.

As a follow up question, I no longer have a basement and will only have a garage for growing my seedlings. How cold can it get in a garage before the risk of death goes up? No wind in a garage. It doesnt get overly cold here in winter. Down to the low 20’s at night and slightly cooler every once in a while. 30s-40s in the day. Cool spots it can top out in the 20s.

Don’t know how cold is too cold for seedlings; they certainly grow well at 50-60 deg F; cool temps seem to minimize disease and insect problems.

In your garage, you could build a lightbox containing fluorescent fixtures and an incandescent bulb; the temp inside the box can be easily controlled by changing the size of the incandescent bulb.

What you need to worry about isn’t whether the temperatures themselves will kill the rose, but rather, whether the rose will have enough energy reserves to survive the length of winter. I would personally try to keep such a plant growing under fluorescent lights all winter. My second choice would be to allow it to go dormant for a while (a month or two, maybe) but then bring it out early and grow it under lights to bulk up until it can go outside. If your garage doesn’t fluctuate in temperature too severely, then it may be suitable either as a place to set up lights (if it’s warm enough to support rose growth) or to keep the plant dormant, although a refrigerator is probably preferable.

I would be afraid to leave the plant outside, to keep it dormant for the entire winter, and to try growing such a weak plant in window light.

I agree. I think that garage + 1 clamp light would work fine.

Unless you want a moldy, dead stick, DO NOT put the plant in the garage without a good light source.

If you do bring it indoors, I would recommend a grow light left on for around 16 hours/day. Window light is not going to cut it and will further weaken the plant.

One thing to watch out for is root rot, especially in a cool environment like a garage. Let the soil dry out between waterings, and don’t drench it when you do water. Adding a touch of Hydrogen Peroxide to the water also helps. In addition, the more light the plant gets, the stronger it is and the better it is at resisting disease.

Good luck.