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Caring for roses in pots: tips for planting and growing beautiful and long-lasting blooming flowers

With their intoxicating fragrance, velvety petals and gorgeous colors, roses deserve to be enjoyed up close and personal, not from a distance, in a distant garden bed. By planting your roses in pots, window boxes or hanging baskets, you can create a small rose garden on a sunny patio, balcony or windowsill where you can best enjoy these gorgeous blooms. Although potted roses are easy to grow even for a beginner, follow these important tips to ensure healthy plants and beautiful, uninterrupted blooms. How to care for roses in pots is the topic of this article.

Grow the right rose

Caring for roses in pots - Tips for planting and growing them.

Almost any rose variety can be grown in a pot, but miniature roses, polyanthas, minifloras and small shrub roses are best. Ground cover roses also do well in containers, primarily hanging baskets and window boxes, where they can spill over onto the patio or other outdoor areas.

If you want to create vertical interest, try a tree rose (also called a “standard”), a compact rose bush grafted onto a trunk to look like a small tree. For the best blooms, choose rose varieties that bloom repeatedly, as opposed to varieties that bloom only once per season. Many newer rose varieties bloom continuously from early summer through fall.

Choose the right pot

Choose a container that is appropriate for the size of your plant

Choose a pot that is appropriate for the size of your rose – a pot that is large enough to accommodate the root ball while providing enough room for growth. In general, the larger the pot, the better, as the roots can go deeper, soil temperatures stay cooler, and the soil dries out more slowly. The disadvantage of large pots is that they are heavy. So it’s best to put them in a place where they will stay all season, or on a wheeled stand that will allow you to move them easily.

Care for roses in pots – To keep the roots cool and comfortable, avoid dark containers as they absorb more heat. Plant in larger pots that can hold more soil.

Caring for roses in pots – Plant them in good soil.

A necessity for roses is rich, fertile potting soil

Care for roses in pots – One necessity for this is rich, fertile potting soil. Use a good quality soilless mix that you enrich with compost for an extra nutrient boost. You can also mix some perlite into the soil to improve drainage.

Tip. Never use garden soil or topsoil for your containers. These soils work well for garden beds, but are too dense and heavy for potted plants and don’t allow the air circulation and water supply necessary for healthy root growth.

Provide plenty of sun

Care for roses in pots - Make sure they get plenty of sunlight


For your potted roses to bloom best, place them in a location that receives at least six hours of sun daily. Although more sun is usually better, too much sun can overheat the container and stress the roots, especially in hot weather or warmer climates.

Which roses are suitable for partial shade? You can find out here !

Caring for roses in a pot – water often and fertilize properly.

Caring for roses in pots - water often and fertilize properly.

It is important to water roses in pots well, as the soil dries out quickly. Water whenever the top inch of soil feels dry, and saturate the soil until the water runs out of the drainage holes and the soil stops forming bubbles. In the heat of summer, daily watering may be necessary, even if it is a large container.

If your lifestyle does not allow you to water your potted roses daily, try planting them in self-watering containers that can reduce the time between waterings to once a week or even longer.

Fertilize properly: Roses also need lots of nutrients to bloom. You should fertilize potted roses more frequently than garden roses. To give your container roses a good start, work a granulated slow-release rose fertilizer into the potting soil at planting time, along with a handful of bone meal for healthy root development.

Since frequent watering washes nutrients out of the pots, a liquid fertilizer for roses will benefit them. If you give it every 4 to 6 weeks, your plants will bloom all season long.

Prune as needed

If you need to prune potted roses, use the same techniques as for rose bushes


Most miniature and compact roses require very little pruning, and many newer varieties are self-cleaning, so you won’t need to remove petals. If you need to prune potted roses to maintain their shape or remove unwanted growth, use the same techniques recommended for standard-sized rose bushes.

Caring for roses in pots – wintering properly

If you want to add vertical interest, try a tree rose

Since roses are hardy, they can survive many years in their containers if you give them a little care during the cold season. Here are some of your winterizing options:

  • When your rose plants go into winter dormancy in the fall, store them in their pots in an unheated garage or garden shed so the roots don’t freeze, then move the pots back outdoors in the spring.
  • For pots that are too large to move easily, keep the soil warm by placing a thick layer of mulch on the surface and wrapping the plant with burlap to protect it from wind.
  • If you have enough space in your garden, once the plants have gone dormant, remove them from their pots and plant them in the ground where the roots will be better protected. In early spring, as soon as the ground thaws, you can dig up your plants and repot them.

Tip: The best time of year to repot your roses is winter or early spring, when the plants are dormant. This is also a good time to prune the roots of your roses if they are too rooted.

More tips on rose care can be found here !