Planting Garden Roses in Containers
Choose rose varieties that are naturally compact
There are roses for almost every location and so many types to choose from—hybrid teas, floribundas, climbers, ramblers, ground covers, tree roses, and more—and they’re surprisingly easy to grow. Give roses six to eight hours of full sun, rich, well-drained soil, regular water, and a trusty feeding schedule, and you’ll get months of striking and colorful blooms. Yes, there’s pruning and deadheading and possibly the occasional troubleshooting for pests or diseases, but roses are so ridiculously rewarding that they’re well worth the effort.
Almost any rose can be grown in a container
The best success is achieved if you plant your regular-size rose in a very large container (think horse trough or a half–wine barrel). The other option is to choose a rose variety with a polite habit—think miniature roses, polyanthas, patio tree roses, one of the shorter floribundas, or a less rambunctious climber. Low-growing ground cover–type roses can even billow happily from hanging baskets and window boxes.
In this video, Andrew Schulman, a landscape designer and Fine Gardening author, shows how to plant roses in containers and adds a tip to aid in watering.
Here’s how to plant a rose in a container:
- Select a rose that will stay in scale with the container without much heavy pruning.
- Choose a pot. In terms of size, 24- to 36-inch-wide containers are ideal. For durability, lean toward cast stone or molded resin containers. While the popular half–whiskey barrels are a good size, they tend to decompose in wet climates unless they are heavily treated with preservatives.
- Fill the container with a good-quality potting soil.
- Place the rose into the pot, making sure you don’t cover the crown with soil.
- Water it in well.