I bought potted drift roses-I was told if I kept them in a cool unfinished basement, they would be ok to plant in the spring (I live outside of Flint, MI). Now, the leaves are turning yellow and starting to fall off. Is this normal???
What is the light source for the plant? How much are you watering it? A change in what the plant is accustomed to will cause temporary, partial leaf drop. Do you see new leaf buds? Is your goal to let the plant go dormant or not? I don't think an unheated basement is cold enough to cause dormancy. Even if dormant, cessation of growth and full leaf drop, the plant still needs some water - not much- for the roots. Another option for you is to dig a hole and "plant" the pot. This protects the roots from winter cold and still allows you to easily dig it up and do a proper planting early next spring. Keep the soil moist, not soggy, and mulch.