Growing roses in pots allows a gardener the ability to enjoy tender plants in areas that suffer adverse weather conditions. The mobility that a pot affords makes it easy to move the rose around to ideal locations and create different landscape appearances. A potted rose can also thrive on a balcony, rooftop garden or patio.
All rose varieties grow well in containers, except overly large climbing roses. Provide at least a 2-gallon pot for the rose to succeed within. A container that measures approximately 12 inches in diameter will do well for a miniature rose. A hybrid tea rose, or a floribunda, will require a 15-inch diameter pot. Large tree roses and overly large hybrid tea rose bushes will need a pot that measures 18 inches in diameter. The pot should measure approximately 16 to 18 inches in height to provide enough space for the plant's root system.
A rose bush will grow well in a wide variety of pot types; containers made of ceramics, glass, wood and clay can provide an decorative look to the garden. A plastic pot can assist the gardener by providing lightweight flexibility. Make sure the container has adequate drainage holes in the bottom for water to seep out of. A rose will soon deteriorate from root rot if it does not have adequate drainage. Avoid placing the container into a tray or the water will also pool around the plant's roots. Allow the water to drain directly out of the container and away from the rose bush's root system. Consider setting the vessel on a bed of rocks to facilitate drainage.
Plant the rose bush in the containers so that the plant's bud union sits level with the soil. Firm the soil down around the plant's root system to remove any air pockets. Fill the container all the way to the brim with soil. As the rose bush settles into the pot the soil will compact, and the plant will sink deeper into the pot. As the rose bush's root system grows it may require repotting. Re-pot if the roots begin to peek out of the drainage holes or the plant could get root bound. Most potted rose bushes require a larger pot every three years. During the potted rose bush's growing season, it will require more frequent feedings. Consider fertilising the plant once per week.
Container grown rose bushes require winter time care to protect them. Placing the bush into a garage will help protect the plant. Apply mulch around the rose bush's bud union prior to storing the pot. Make sure the garage temperature maintains itself below 4.44 degrees Celsius. The rose bush will require sunlight in the garage. It will loose leaves during the winter months; promptly pick the leaves so the bush does not contract disease. Provide the potted rose bush with water once per month. Watch for signs of aphid or spider mite infestations. The plant may also suffer from powdery mildew. Treat for pests using an insecticide and fungal diseases using a fungicide.
- Colorado State University; Growing Roses in Containers; Stan Barrett
- Denver Rose Society; Growing Roses in Containers; Carol Macon; Jan 2009
- Alaska Rose Society: Roses in Alaska: Growing Roses in Pots
- Rose Magazine: Growing Roses in Containers
- Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society: ThePros and Cons of Container Grown Roses; Kitty Belendez; Feb. 2011