Growing roses in containers gives you another gardening opportunity when you're short on garden space and make a striking visual addition to porch, patio, or deck.
Almost every type of rose, save large climbers, adapts well to container growing. Roses grow just as well in a steel tub or wooden barrel as they do in a plastic or clay planter, provided that you see to adequate drainage and that the container you choose allows your rose plants ample room to spread their roots.
Just like roses in your garden, container-grown roses need good drainage, air circulation and a sunny location.
Prepare your rose pot (barrel or tub) by adding an inch of medium sized rocks to its bottom to help provide drainage and keep soil from compacting. Although you can use garden soil for container-grown roses, potting soil mixed with compost helps ensure a weed-free planting. Add a cup of perlite to help keep soil loose and improve drainage. Additionally, adding a handful of bone meal helps roots to take hold and provides extra nutrition for your container grown rose.
Fill your container to about two-thirds full with your planting medium, slightly mounding the soil at the center of the pot. Set your rose plant on the mound and gently spread its roots. Because your soil will settle, you can fill your container to the top. Fill and firm as you would for garden grown roses, putting the bud union at a level with the soil.
After planting, give your container-grown rose a big drink of water. Water so that the contents are well-saturated and excess water escapes from drainage holes.
Container grown roses have limited access to nutrients and essential moisture if not regularly watered and fed. Check your container grown roses frequently. When soil is dry to an inch down, it's time to water. Additionally, mulching around the top of your rose container helps to keep the soil moist and the roots cool between waterings and is especially beneficial during hot, dry weather. Feed your container grown roses using a one-quarter strength, water-soluble, organic fertilizer at each watering to promote even growth and flowering.
Rose Tip: Sun-loving roses often reach for the sun. Rotate your container grown rose often to maintain even and straight growth. Because rose plants are large, their pots are also large and heavy. Put your container-grown rose on casters to make it easy to rotate and/or relocate.