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How to Plant Roses in Pots & Containers

Any rose can be planted in a pot, adding beautiful décor and elegance to the landscape around our home. Keep reading for my best tips for planting roses in pots and containers.

CAN I PLANT GARDEN ROSES IN A POT OR CONTAINER?

Yes! All roses can be planted in a pot. Many of my favorite roses are on display in pots and containers of all sizes here on the farm. They add beautiful décor and elegance to the landscape around our home.

Pots are a great way to test out a location if you’re not sure a rose will perform well. Container roses are the best way for beginners to get started with roses, because it takes little commitment to try out, or “trial,” a rose that captures your interest.

Containers are also an ideal option for people in apartments, condos, rentals or other locations. You may not have a yard to grow in, but you can enjoy a beautiful garden rose on a balcony or patio.

 

HOW DO I CHOOSE MY POT OR CONTAINER?

Be sure to select a pot that has a drainage hole in the bottom. If it doesn’t have a hole, depending on the material, you can drill three to four holes in with a 3/4- inch drill bit.

Your pot also needs to be in a location where it can drain easily so if needed place risers underneath, using a block of wood. Or, add a saucer to keep your pot off the ground to allow for proper water drainage, and prevent standing water from pooling in the pot.

Make sure your container is at least two-feet wide by three-feet deep. Avoid pots with necks that are narrow—they make it difficult to remove the rose if you need to transplant it to a new container or location later.

If you’re located in a warm climate, you also want to avoid black or dark-colored pots, as they can absorb more heat, which can scorch roots in the summer months.

  

WHEN SHOULD I PLANT MY ROSE IN A POT OR CONTAINER? 

Spring and fall are the best times to plant potted roses in beds and containers so they can get established before the summer heat or winter frost arrives. Bare root roses can be planted in pots during your dormant season.

 

HOW DO I PLANT MY ROSE IN A POT OR CONTAINER?

Fill the pot with a mix of 75 percent high-quality, planting topsoil or raised bed soil and 25 percent compost. Bagged topsoil can be purchased at local garden centers and home improvement stores, and larger quantities can usually be found at a local rock yard or independent nursery center. My favorite supplies for potting up roses are E.B. Stone Raised Bed & Potting Mix and E.B. Stone Organic Compost.

Water the pot after filling. If the soil settles, add more soil mix in before you begin planting your roses, so you start with a full pot.

Remove the rose from the nursery pot and position it in the center of your planting pot. Be sure the base of the rose canes are level with the top of the soil line. Backfill around the rose with potting soil mix pressing firmly to remove any air pockets. 

After planting, apply a granular fertilizer around the base of the rose following the package directions. Reapply every 4-6 weeks throughout the growing season until 6 weeks before your expected first frost date. My favorite granular fertilizer is E.B. Stone Organics Rose & Flower Food. To shop my full list of recommended fertilizers for ongoing rose care click here.

Hand water daily for the first one to two weeks to keep the rose well hydrated until the roots get established in the new pot. Remember to check on your roses regularly during the first few months to make sure they receive enough water. Roses planted in beds and containers dry out more quickly, and need more watering than their counterparts planted in native soil. 

For more information on caring for your potted rose, I recommend contacting your local Rose Society or Master Gardeners for additional assistance and recommendations specific to growing roses in your climate zone or becoming a member of the Menagerie Academy, my online learning community filled with resources for growing great roses. 

 

Photos by: Jill Carmel Photography

This post may contain affiliate links. I make a small commission if you purchase a product from the link. I only recommend products I love and use in hopes they will help you too! 

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