Growing Roses In Containers
We get a lot of enquiries from customers about growing roses in pots, and the answer is yes, roses can be grown in pots, but there are a few things to consider.
Most would agree that you can't grow an oak tree in a pot, the footprint of the root system of such a huge tree is more or less a reflection of the size of the plant above ground level. Growing any plant in a pot restricts the root system to the size of the pot, so reduces the size and performance of that plant, the extreme case is the bonsai.
It's easier to grow a naturally small rose variety in a suitable pot as they make naturally smaller plants. Patio or miniature roses are probably the easiest, as they will be happier for a longer time in a suitable pot than trying to grow a hybrid tea or climbing rose, they will grow and flower in bigger containers but will run out of space after a few years, this will show as less vigorous growth and flowering. It is therefore harder to get the full potential of a variety in a container than it is growing the same variety in the open ground.
Tips For Growing Roses In Containers
- Choose a pot that's big enough with adequate drainage holes. A minimum of 12 litres for patio roses and as big as is practically possible for floribunda roses, hybrid tea roses etc.
- Use a good quality compost. Rose, Shrub, John Innes No.3 will all be fine, but not a multi-purpose compost because it does not have the make-up suitable to grow bigger, long living roses.
- Buy a pot that is portrait in shape as roses are deep rooting plants. If you can find square or round pots that taper from top to bottom, that's good because after a few years, as the rose begins to get pot bound, you can pull them out from the pot, remove the old soil and re-pot it in fresh compost. This will refresh and rejuvenate the rose.
- Raise the pot off the surface, this will allow good drainage.
- In EXTREMELY cold weather, if pots are in an exposed position, be prepared to wrap the pot with something that will insulate it; tops of rose plants are hardy but roots are vulnerable to being frozen.