If you want to enjoy being surrounded by roses, even if you “only” have a balcony or terrace at your disposal, the perennial question may have popped into your mind: Do roses in containers have different needs?

In principle, roses in containers have the same needs as roses that are planted directly into the ground. However, because there is less room in containers for the roots to grow, the size of the container plays an important role. It should have a volume of at least 10 liters, although 20 or 30 is better, and 40 liters is recommended for varieties that are more prolific. When you pot them, you can use store-bought potting soil and even specially mixed soil for roses. Even if you fertilize it, the soil in the pot will eventually become exhausted. For this reason you should add fresh soil to your roses every two, or at least every three, years.


Roses love the sun and need at least 5 to 6 hours of it every day if you want good growth and tons of flowers.
Roses that bloom more frequently are “high maintenance” and they need extra nutrition to keep up the production of flowers. Mineral fertilizer should be added in April and June. If you use pre-prepared fertilizer, generally one application in March is enough. Because roses in pots need to be watered more frequently, fertilizer may be washed away more quickly If signs of malnutrition occur, then the plant will need another application of fertilizer.
Proper watering of roses is very important, because the soil in a pot will dry out more quickly. However, too much water is something that roses don’t do well in. In wet soil, the roots will begin to die off, and that means the plant can’t get the nutrients it needs. Excessive watering and rain water should be able to flow out of the pot freely. A layer of pebbles or fragments of old clay pots can be used as an effective means of drainage.
Roses in pots can generally be cut just like garden roses. The main round of cutting should take place in spring when the forsythia are blooming. Most varieties can have a third of their growth cut back. A cutting in summer is just a matter of routine maintenance during the summer months.
Roses in pots need sufficient protection in winter. Just like plants in the garden, you should pile up a bit of soil around the base of the plant.

Which varieties of rose can be planted in pots?

In principle, all garden roses can be planted in pots given sufficient space. For balcony and terrace, bed roses and small shrubby roses are recommended, as they bloom until the first frost again and again and are seldom without a colorful display.

And what about climbing roses? Can they thrive in pots?

Yes, but you should keep in mind that most of these grow prolifically, so the container would need to be especially large. Additionally, because climbing roses have a large surface area from all the leaves, they tend to lose a lot of moisture and dry out. Sufficient and regular watering is especially important. Many varieties have relatively weak, bendable branches – something for them to climb on made of wood or metal can be anchored into the container.

And then?

…there’s just one more thing: pick the prettiest of the pretty and enjoy a wonderful summer surrounded by your roses!


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