Make a small space bloom when you plant roses in containers. Growing roses in containers give you flexibility as they can be easily transported. You can move the pots toward the best light and shelter them when the weather gets rough. Read on to learn tips on growing colorful roses throughout the season.
Choose the Right Rose for the Right Place
To get the beauty of roses for your porch, patio or balcony, select small to mid-size varieties. Hardy, disease-resistant Knock Out Roses are a natural choice for containers.
If you have room, look for a trailing rose to train along a fence or balcony rail. Or try growing them upright on a garden trellis for a touch of the country in the city.
Trailing roses include ramblers and climbers. The main difference between the two is that ramblers flower once, while climbers bloom from spring through fall. They grow on canes that may be bent and attached to structures such as a fence, trellis or arbor.
How to Plant a Rose in a Container
Follow these tips for planting roses in a container:
- Choose a large container, at least 18 inches wide and deep and at least 20 quarts in volume. Whiskey barrel planters work well.
- Drill drainage holes if the container doesn’t already have them
- Use potting mix or mix up your own soil from equal parts composted manure, top soil and pine bark mini nuggets.
- When planting, fill the container three-quarters full with potting mix. Shape into a mound that's no taller than two inches below the rim.
- Spread the roots of the rose over the mound and top it with more potting mix right up to the bud union. This is where the cane grafted onto the root stock.
- Thoroughly water the planted rose with a hose.
- Wait a few weeks before fertilizing.
Tip: Re-pot your roses every two to three years. They are heavy feeders and will exhaust the nutrients from potting soils.
Adding Companion Plants
If you have a large enough container, fill it with companion plants. Roses play well with perennial herbs like lavender. Adding these plants in can create an eye-catching array of colors.
In the fall, tuck daffodil, crocus and tulip bulbs down into the soil in the container for late winter blooms next year. Marigold, begonia and other annuals make fine companions. In summer, pair hydrangeas in containers with your roses.
Tip: Choose plants that won’t compete for water and won’t spread too much.
Tips for Success
When growing roses in containers, follow these tips for success:
- Like all container plants, roses need good drainage. Make sure the container has adequate drainage holes. Don’t place the container in a dish to catch water. Instead, prop the finished container on a plant caddy, plant stand or pavers to ensure air circulation and keep out pests.
- Roses like water, but there are so many variables at play that it’s difficult to say how much water your container roses will need. Keep an eye on the plants and touch the soil in the container every few days. If it’s dry an inch down, it’s time to water. Expect to water the roses every day in warmer seasons when it hasn't rained, less so as days cool down.
- Give newly planted roses about a month before beginning a fertilizer routine. Follow through with regular applications throughout the season to encourage blooms and healthy growth.
- Climbers and ramblers will grow full if trained horizontally rather than vertically. Unlike vines, which have tendrils to grasp support, roses need to be tied to a trellis using plant ties.
- Roses are not immune to pests, including Japanese beetles. When you see these pests in your garden, fill up a cleaning bucket with soapy water, pull off the offending bug and drop the insect in the water. You can also plant companion plants like iris, bee balm and daylily that attract beneficial insects that will help control the pest population.
Add a pop of color and fragrance to your small space by planting roses. These easy-to-care-for flowers make a great addition to your outdoor area. Choose wisely, nurture them, and they will reward you with colorful flowers throughout the season. Use The Home Depot Mobile App to locate products and check inventory. We’ll take you to the exact aisle and bay.