Growing flower at Pots for Beginners
If you want to grow roses in your garden but don’t have space left, try growing them in containers. They can also add beautiful accents that brighten up your landscape and perfume the air.
Pick the Right Roses
Not all roses will work well in containers. For example, unless you put it against a trellis or otherwise provide support, one of the climbing roses would be a poor choice to pot up as it will sprawl everywhere. Grandifloras live up to their name and tend to be on the taller side in addition to large blooms. Shrub roses, species roses and older cultivars of roses also reach dimensions that make it difficult to grow in a contained space. Leave the hybrid teas to your landscape as they do not usually grow well in pots.
Four types of roses that are especially suitable for containers are:
- Groundcover These stay low and look lovely spilling over the edges of your container. Depending on the size of your pot and the groundcover variety, you could also possibly use it as a border around a larger plant.
- Miniature Since these types of roses have been cultivated to stay on the small side, they are naturally well suited to growing in containers.
- Patio If you want a rose that is not miniature, but not as big as a standard rose, try a patio rose. They are the type called floribunda, on a smaller scale.
- Polyantha These bear clusters of small roses on a shorter plant. Check the tag to make sure you are not purchasing a climbing type of polyantha rose.
There is a delicate balance to be maintained when you are planting roses (or any other plant) in containers. You want a potting medium that drains well enough that root rot is less likely, but is heavy enough to hold some water. The container needs to have enough drainage holes so that the excess water can flow out. However, this also means that water runs through it relatively quickly and the plant can dry out faster.
Keep an eye roses so you know when you need to water. A good general rule of thumb is to water when the top of the soil surface is dry–you want to keep them moist, not wet–the soil should have as much moisture as a rung out sponge. You will also have more success if you water outside of the period of 10 AM – 6 PM, as this is when it is usually hottest in the day and evaporation is accelerated. As much as possible, try to keep the water off the leaves of roses as wet leaves can lead to powdery mildew and other fungi and disease.
Drip irrigation can also be a successful way to keep your container rose happy. These systems are designed to deliver the water directly to the root zone instead of spraying over a general location.
When you place a rose within a finite amount of soil, it tends to use up all of the nutrients available. Apply fertilizer every other week to make sure that they have access to all of the food that they need for proper growth. Be sure to follow the directions as over-fertilizing can be as bad or worse than not feeding at all. Apply to the soil and not the leaves (unless the directions instruct you to do so) because foliage can be burned by the salts in fertilizers.
Repot and Change the Soil Every Few Years
If you start with a miniature rose or one that is at maturity, you may not need to repot for many years unless the roots start coming out the bottom or the pot breaks. With most other roses, though, you will need to change containers every few years as the plant grows.
While you are repotting, go an extra step and change out the soil if it has been there for more than two years. The plant has depleted some of the nutrients, and the soil has probably compacted, so a fresh batch will keep the nutrient level at an acceptable level. Over time, salts and minerals can also accumulate in the soil from fertilizers, so this may potentially damage the rose.