Mature roses are generally deep-rooted plants with a main taproot root system that sprouts first followed the emergence of thinner roots all round which form a fibrous root system. This usually occurs because most roses are grafted on root stocks which are deep-rooting. This means growing roses in pots requires good preparation.
So, can I grow roses in a pot? Yes, you can as long as you observe the correct depth. The majority of roses grow in pots as long as they are given enough soil for their long roots. The pot needs to be at least 1.5 feet deep and 12 inches wide but the deeper and wider the better for good growth.
Roses require sufficient soil that covers the roots completely above the root crown. The soil should be mounded slightly too to avoid the exposure of roots in future. Well covered roses with a fertile soil endowed with nutrients leads to very good-looking plants and beautiful rose flowers.
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Why Grow Roses in Pots
Growing roses in pots and other types of containers helps one to make use of certain spaces such as decks, stairways, or patios to place the plants. This helps beautify those areas.
Planting roses in pots also ensures that one can control certain parameters such as soil moisture levels as well as the exposure to sunlight. This helps in nurturing some of the best roses.
If one’s garden soil is not good for roses, growing them in pots helps one to obtain good quality soil and nurture wonderful roses.
Types of Roses to Grow in a Pot
There are more that 150 species of roses and not all do well in pots. For example, the climbing rose is not good for growing in a pot because it will spread everywhere and probably fall on the ground. Similarly, grandiflora roses tend to grow very tall and have large blooms and they tend to tip or blown over by wind when planted in a pot.
Shrub roses, older rose cultivars, and older species roses grow to heights that make it difficult to manage in a container. It is also highly recommended to avoid growing hybrid tea roses in pots since they usually only do well in the garden.
The best roses for pots include Rosa ‘Line Renaud’, Cream Veranda Shrub Rose, Field Rose, Lady Banks’ Rose, At Last Floribunda, Multiflora Rose among others. These varieties emerged as our best roses for pots because of their upright growth style, simple maintenance, stunning colors and elegant foliage.
For example, the Rosa ‘Line Renaud’ usually grows a cluster of shoots which produces a middling appearance in a pot. The At Last Floribunda is ideal for those new to rose gardening because they are easy to care for and flourish quickly. The Floribunda is also a good blossom and I like it from its apricot coloring.
Some of the places you can get good roses include Knockout Roses who prepare roses for pots and other types of containers. Knockout roses in containers look very good.
Growing Roses in Pots During Winter
Roses usually become totally dormant during winter as a survival trait. Whether the rose is grown in a pot or in the garden it will become dormant. However, if the rose plants are grown in a pot and placed somewhere with sufficient light and warmth (e.g indoors), they won’t go dormancy.
If you have been growing the roses in pots outside and winter comes knocking the roses will definitely become dormant. So, what do you need to do next? You can take the dormant roses indoors to protect from the extreme weather such as snow or hailstones.
The most ideal space to place the roses is naturally lit, non-heated room such as garage near the window. A non-heated room is necessary to keep the roses dormant during that period because if woken up by heat they will need sunlight or artificially formulated light to keep the up. Remember roses have thorns and it is good to place them somewhere they won’t injure people.
Ideal Pot Sizes for Roses
The majority of roses deep rooted and thus require deep and slightly wide pots. If you are wondering what is the ideal size pot for roses go for the ones that have a minimum depth of 1.5 feet and a minimum width of 20 inches.
You must be thinking, that is one tall pot, will I find one and will it be stable on the floor? Yes, they are taller than average pots and once filled with soil they tend to stable on the floor unless a strong external force is forced on them.
Growing standard roses in pots requires the container to be large enough to allow the taproot and fibrous roots to spread and also allow it to grow.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Pots for Roses
- Size – As mentioned earlier, roses have deep roots and thus it is important to go for pots that are deeper than 1.5 feet. The volume of the pot should be between 9 to 17 gallons. The large pot will hold sufficient soil for the plant from planting to maturity without the need to change the container in future which can be hectic. The large pot also holds more soil by volume which dries out slowly as compared to small amount of soil. This means you will water the plant less frequently.
- Material – Pots are usually made from different materials which include fiberglass, plastic, Terra cotta, grazed ceramic, and Terra cotta pots may seem like a great choice; however, they are porous and dry out fast which means more regular watering. Clay is the best choice because of its water retention and does not heat up easily from the sun. However, clay pots are fragile and need to be handled with care. Glazed ceramic are also good choices because they look like clay but with better water retention (they are non-porous) especially in hot areas. Glazed ceramic pots are also elegant, come in various colors, styles, and sizes.
- Drainage – For container rose gardening, good drainage is a must. Too much wetness in the soil is likely to lead to root rot. If the soil is too dry, one needs water regularly or the roses will wither. It is thus advisable to go for a pot with drainage holes. If the pot does not have holes one can try and add some using such tools as a drill. Be careful not to break the pot.
Below are some tips of growing roses in pots.
Tips for Growing Roses in Pots
- Soils in pots usually heat up faster than garden soil. Therefore, it is highly recommended to go for clay pots instead of plastic because clay transfers heat from the sun slowly as compared to plastic.
- Best site for the pot containing the rose is somewhere where the roses will get about 5 to 6 hours of full sunlight per day. This is because roses really like sunshine and that is why they do best in tropical areas. The good thing about growing the roses in a pot is that you can place them somewhere else if your garden happens to be shaded by large plants, trees or even buildings. You can place a pot next to a garden bench, the front entrance, or anywhere else with sufficient sunshine. The pot should be placed away from nearby plants, structures, or containers to allow for air circulation too. This prevents the occurrence of rose diseases. The pots having roses should be place about 2 to 3 feet apart to avert the touching of foliage. However, do not place in a windy spot to promote air circulation because wind can dry the water or moisture in the pot faster requiring one to water the plants more regularly. Very strong winds could tip the plant over and damage it or break the pot.
- Fertilizing roses in pots is an important routine because roses are heavy feeders. It is highly recommended to fertilize with a slow-release organic rose food every spring. Natural fertilizer for roses in pots is very important. When the growing season arrives, a dose of quality liquid organic food such as fish emulsion can help increase flower production. Who doesn’t want some beautiful rose flowers?
- Deadheading roses in pots is also important to encourage them to produce fresh flowers. Deadheading roses requires one to clip the step back so that it results to a new set of leaves.
- Pruning is also crucial for potted roses as is to those in the garden. This should ideally be done during the beginning of the season when the buds start to swell. Any dead wood should be removed. Clipping should be done such that the buds should outward facing to encourage the branches to face outwards. Only use the best pruners for roses.
Based on experience and research, it is evident one can grow roses in pots. One just needs the right pot sizes with sufficient depth and diameter. It is always good to remember roses are deep rooted plants and they require deep soil especially when mature.
One can start with shallow containers for small roses and transfer the plants every 2 to 3 years to a larger container.