Plant Roses In Pots | 6 Easy Steps for Beginners

How To Plant Roses In Pots – A Beginner’s Guide

If you want to plant roses in pots, the good news is that it is a lot easier than you think.  Potted roses still bring vibrancy and fragrance to a garden and often make us smile.  Experienced gardeners tend to grow roses across their gardens, but as a beginner, you can plant roses in pots until you have figured out how to care for roses in your garden.  Below is a beginner’s guide to help you plant your first roses in pots. 

Step One – Location, Location, Location

Whether you decide to grow roses in the ground or a pot, location is the deciding factor whether your roses will do well or not.  One of the benefits of starting roses in containers is that you can move them around in the first year until you have figured out to how to care for the roses and found the right location for them to thrive.  As long as they are planted in pots big enough to sustain their growth, receive plenty of sunshine and fed the correct nutrients you should see the roses bloom.

When it comes to roses, the plants need a lot of sunshine, therefore, find spots in your garden or balcony that receives the most amount of sun.  A south facing garden is perfect for roses.  Do not worry if you do not have a lot of sunshine hours, there are rose varieties which enjoy partial sun and shade. 

Step Two – Pick a Rose Plant and Equipment

You can plant most roses in containers nowadays.  Whether the rose plant thrives or not will depend on the container size, sunshine hours and nutrition that it will receive.  However, seeing hundreds of varieties when you are starting to plant roses, can be overwhelming.  Therefore if you are confused by seeing so many different varieties, below is a list of three varieties that are suitable for beginners who are starting to plant roses in pots: 

Floribunda roses are a cross between the Hybrid Tea rose and the Polyantha Rose. The roses add a lot of vibrant colour to the plant which loves to grow in large clusters.  Floribunda roses also have a faint scent that is pleasant when you are sitting near them.  Patio roses are smaller versions of the Floribunda roses which grow well in containers. These rose plants will go well in small spaces such as a patio or balcony.

English Rose Shrubs are ideal for planting in large pots.  English Roses will grow in clusters all the way through the autumn season; therefore giving your garden beautiful colours even during the foliage-shedding season.   If you have a garden that receives partial sun, then this rose shrub will be suitable for you as it also does well in environments where there is partial shade. The English rose shrub requires around 3 to 4 hours of sunshine a day. 

Yellow Rose
Yellow Rose

Miniature roses also do well in containers.  They can grow up to 18 inches in height and form tiny roses in clusters.  This variety does well over the winter period.  You can find miniature rose plants for indoor gardening, however, as most roses need a lot of sunshine, they often fail to produce many blooms indoors. This variety will do well near a window that receives direct sunlight.

What you will need:

  • Pots or planting containers with drainage holes
  • Well draining potting material or compost
  • Gravel (small amount to line the base of the plant pots)
  • Rose plants
  • An organic rose fertilizer
  • Epsom salts (optional)

Step Three – How to Plant Roses in Pots

You can pick up a small rose plant from an online or local nursery around you.  The best time to grow a rose plant is during Spring.  You can plant them later in the year as long as the roots have ample time to adjust to their new environment and grow before Winter arrives. 

Once you have picked the rose plant that you want to grow, do the following:

  1. Line the base of the pot with gravel, approximately 2 inches high. 
  2. Keep the draining holes clear so that the water can drain easily, especially if it rains a lot in your area.
  3. Then add your compost or potting soil, fill 1/3 of the pot
  4. Then place your rose plant and cover with compost.
  5. Cover upto 1 inch above the root system so that all the roots are below the soil.
  6. Give the rose plant plenty of water and allow it to soak the sunshine over the next few days.

Step Four – Feed the Rose Plant

Rose plants require a lot of nutrition to produce long lasting vibrant roses.  You can provide the nutrition by mixing in new compost or then use an organic rose fertiliser.  If you are planting in pots, then adding new compost mix regularly will not be possible, therefore purchase an organic rose feed to provide the plant with the right balance of nutrients such as potassium, phoposorus and nitrogen. 

When you first plant the roses in pots, there will already be plenty of nutrition in the pot to feed the rose plant.  You should start to feed the rose plant with an organic rose fertiliser after the first month.  A fertiliser specifically for roses will be a better option as they usually contain ingredients that help prevent pests and diseases.  Follow the directions on the fertiliser package to avoid over feeding – which could burn the roots if too much is applied.  Some will require a monthly application of the fertiliser while others will require much less, therefore always follow the directions on the fertiliser. 

Vitax organic liquid rose food

Epsom salt contains magnesium; therefore, you can sprinkle some at the base of the plant when you first pot it. 

A quick tip – in the Winter, most rose plants become dormant, therefore, you do not need to feed it during the winter period.  Apply your first does of organic rose fertiliser when new shoots and leaves start to develop in the Spring.

Related Article: Can I Use Neem Oil for Plants as Pest Control?

Step Five – Watering the Roses

The amount of water you give the roses will depend on the type of soil and temperature. I water the plants once a week, unless there has been a very dry spell.  In this case, I water them every two days – early in the morning, which keeps the roses happy.  Avoid watering the leaves, aim for the base of the plant.  This is to prevent the leaves from fungal diseases.

How to plant roses in pots
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Step Six – Pruning Roses & Protecting Rose Plants from Pests

The best way to protect the roses is to prune leaves as soon as you see any sign of disease.  Take off leaves and stems that have dried out, look botched or stressed.  When pruning dead stems, cut them at a 45-degree angle. Remove lower leaves to avoid rot and bacterial growth at the bottom of the plant.

To reduce fungal infections, ensure that the roses receive plenty of air.  If you are planting more than one rose plant, keep the pots at least 3 feet apart from other plants.  Water the roses at the base of the plant to prevent the leaves from being infected with fungus. 

Aphids are a pain to deal with.  You can either introduce ladybirds in the garden who love feeding on aphids, pick the leaves and early buds as soon as you spot the first few aphids or spray neem oil on the leaves.  Neem oil works as a natural pesticide, which deters pests from settling onto the plant.  Alternatively, look into companion planting options, such as growing garlic, near the roses to keep pests away.  The smell from the garlic deters pests from settling onto the leaves. 

Neem oil

To Finish Off – How to Plant Roses in Pots

Now that you have done the hard work of planting the roses in pots it is time to sit back and enjoy the beauty that roses bring into a garden.  The first few blooming roses will make you feel like the whole process was well worth the effort.  Do not worry even if you do not have success initially, you will get there.  Just purchase your first rose plant and have a go.

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Which roses grow in shade?

Varieties such as the Lady of Shalott and the Gertrude Jekyl rose from the English shrub rose family are happy in partial shade.  However, they do need 3 – 5 hours of sunshine.

What are the best roses to grow in containers?

Floribunda roses, English rose shrubs and miniature rose varieties do well in containers. 

What time should you water roses?

The ideal time to water roses is first thing in the morning.  By doing so, you will ensure that the leaves remain dry during the night, therefore reducing the chances of the rose plant developing a fungal infection. 

3 comments

  1. Maria

    I love roses, in fact, is my favourite flower. I wish I had a garden so I can decorate it with flowers all around. Sadly I live in a small apartment.

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