By Stan V. Griep
American Rose Society Consulting Master Rosarian – Rocky Mountain District
Growing roses in containers allows you to have roses in your yard, even if you have limited space or less than ideal conditions for roses. Roses planted in containers can be moved around to a better location, either for you to enjoy or for the rose to grow better. Growing roses in pots is an ideal solution for many gardeners.
Growing Roses In Containers
I have grown Hybrid Tea and Floribunda rose bushes in containers as well as miniature and mini-flora rose bushes.
The pots/containers I have used for container roses are approximately 20 inches across at the top and 14 to 20 inches deep. They must have a drain hole in them or be of a type that I can easily drill drain holes in the bottom. No drainage hole or holes will spell root system problems for roses planted in containers due to water retention that causes root rot, mold and fungal attacks. I use a thin layer of ¾-inch gravel in these pots/containers as well to create a drainage plain area.
The soil used in the container must be a good draining potting soil. If the container rose is going to be left outside or in an exterior environment exclusively, an outdoor potting soil mix is fine to use. If you plan on moving the container rose bush inside for the winter, do not use an outdoor potting soil mix, as the aroma it may generate might not be something you want in the house! Do not use clear containers for growing roses in pots, as they can allow sunburn of the root system.
The large container roses are placed in drainage pans that are set upon either wooden or metal coasters with wheels on them. The coasters make it easy to move the container rose bushes around to get the optimum sunlight as well as for easy tending to the roses planted in containers and moving them into the garage or other protected area for the winter. Do not let water stand in the drain pan at the bottom of the pot for longer than an hour, as this will defeat the purpose of the drainage holes and lead to the same root problems as in containers without drainage holes.
Types of Container Roses
Here is a list of some of the rose bushes I have had success with in various containers:
- Daddy’s Little Girl Rose (Rich Pink Miniature)
- Dr. KC Chan Rose (Yellow Miniature)
- Lavaglut Rose (Deep Red Floribunda)
- Sexy Rexy Rose (Pink Floribunda)
- Honey Bouquet Rose (Yellow Floribunda)
- Opening Night Rose (Red Hybrid Tea).
This is just a short list of roses suitable for container roses; there are many others as well.