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Why Are My Rose Leaves Turning Yellow? (4 Possible Reasons)

Roses are a staple bush in many flower gardens. They are beautiful, bright, and come in various colors. However, sometimes the leaves of roses may start to turn yellow and fall. This yellowing can be frustrating to witness and set you on a spree of searching “Why are my rose leaves turning yellow“?

You could be doing everything right, and to still watch your beloved bush losing color can drain the color from your face too. This yellowing of leaves could be happening for several reasons. Keep reading to know the answer to “Why are my rose leaves turning yellow.”

Why Are My Rose Leaves Turning Yellow
New bought rose bush gets yellow leaves – via Reddit

Why Are My Rose Leaves Turning Yellow?

Most plants need precise steps for their care routine like water, sunlight, fertilizer, and more. If you are not looking after them, they will end up wilting and dying.

Rose bushes are no different. They need certain environmental conditions to grow and bloom. If they are not provided with those optimal conditions, their leaves turn yellow and fall off.

So, based on that, here are some of the reasons to your question “Why are my rose leaves turning yellow” and what you can do about it.

1. Lack of Sunlight

Rose plants need ample sunlight. You must ensure at least 4-6 hours of bright, direct sunlight for the plant. If roses don’t get that sunlight, the leaves will become yellow and fall off. The entire plant may die if the shade continues.

The shade over roses could be due to several reasons. If you notice that the upper parts of a rose plant are green and healthy while the lower leaves are yellowing and dying, it means the upper portion of the plant has grown bigger and is now blocking sunlight from reaching the lower region.

This growth is usually a part of the growth cycle, and the plant will be fine on its own. The dying leaves will fall, the plant may lose balance for some time, but it will regrow and adjust as long as you provide the right conditions.

Other reasons for the blockade of sunlight maybe some new source of shade such as a tree branch that just grew, a building being built nearby, or other bigger plants in your garden. It could be anything big in size to tower over your rose bush. It should be easy to spot. Just look around for any such source.

Once you find the source of shade, you can trim it, cut it, or remove it if you can. If you can’t get rid of the thing causing a shadow, relocate the rose plant at a direct cross-section with sunlight, and it should be back to normal in no time.

2. Incorrect Amount of Water

Here is the thing with water. You need to be exact with the amount of it. Both overwatering and underwatering can cause harm to the plant.

Underwatering usually happens in the summer season. Warm winds and reflecting rays of the sun can cause the soil to dry out. The roses need to have at least 8-12 inches of water in the ground, and a proper amount of water is required to dissolve the nutrients.

In warm weather, check the rose plant so that the soil is not left dry. You can check the moisture with an electronic meter, to be precise. Or just visit the soil every day to check its wetness.

However, overwatering can cause the plant to burn too. You must not water it every few hours to soak wet. The soil should be moistened enough, but the water must not be standing still way above the soil. Overwatering usually happens in winters, so be careful during that season.

Why Are My Rose Leaves Turning Yellow 2
my rose bush started to turn yellow – via Reddit

3. Fertilizers for the Rose Plant

If fertilizer is applied high, it can cause your roses to burn and fall. This wilting happens when you continuously apply fertilizer. The salts in its used substance build up gradually, and this salt buildup does not let the roots take up enough moisture, which leads to the leaves turning yellow.

Ensure to water your plant before applying any fertilizer. If you notice yellowing of leaves after applying fertilizer, water the plant thoroughly, and the accumulated substance will dissolve in water.

You should also check to know which nutrient your plant is deficient in, such as nitrogen, phosphorous, magnesium, etc.

The low amount of any of these elements could be causing the plant to wither down. Research the symptoms of each one of these nutrient deficiencies and make sure to buy the fertilizer with that required nutrient.

4. Overheating

Although rose bushes can survive in high temperatures, the yellowing of leaves could also be caused by heat stress. Heat stress occurs if there is a heatwave in your area or too much heat is released suddenly. The rose plant will drop yellow leaves as a way to blow off the steam.

Overwatering can cause the heat to accumulate in the soil and be released slowly, raising temperatures for the plant. It could also be that sun rays are reflected off the surface of stagnant water and hitting the plant.

Overheating can also be caused by darker soil or mulch. Dark colors absorb more heat, so darker soil could entrap heat, causing the plant leaves to turn yellow. In this case, you could take a light-colored cedar mulch and spread it around the base of the rose bush to ward off excess heat.

Don’t overwater to prevent overheating, and if you feel the yellowing is due to overheating, move your plant to a shadier area. You could also create a bit of a shade, protecting the plant from sunlight for some time. But don’t block all the sunlight as the plant needs ample light.


The Take-Away

Hopefully, you have got your answer to “Why are my rose leaves turning yellow.” Remember to keep everything in a balance and not overdo anything. Water, fertilize, and provision of sunlight in moderation. Too much or too little of the prerequisites are causing your rose leaves to turn yellow.

Have your rose bush leaves ever turned yellow? How did you cope with it? Comment and share your experiences with us.