How to plant roses in pots – THREE simple tips

Monty Don shares tips for pruning roses

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Beautiful roses are simple to grow and they can perk up any garden. Planting roses in pots is very different from planting roses directly in garden soil. So here are some top tips for planting potted roses.

Picking the right roses

Before planting roses in containers, check that the variety you wish to grow suits potted conditions.

Not all roses can cope with being planted in pots or containers, but there are some varieties that can.

Consider ground cover, miniature or patio roses for pot and container-grown roses, just make sure they are non-climbing varieties.

Prepare the soil

A tall pot can be helpful for growing roses to spread their roots, so make sure the pot you have is big enough for the rose you want to grow in it.

A layer of gravel in the bottom of the pot about one inch deep can help with drainage.

Pots for roses will also need enough drainage holes at the bottom to prevent the plant from becoming waterlogged.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) explains: “The best roses for growing in containers are the patio and miniature types, which can be grown in fairly small but deep pots 23 to 35cm (9 to 14in) deep.

“You could also try growing less vigorous, more compact ground cover and climbing roses, but use larger containers with a minimum depth of 30 to 45cm (12 to 18in).”

Across gardening sites, many recommend using a loam-based John Innes No 3 soil in combination with a 10 to 20 percent multi-purpose compost.

As an alternative to multi-purpose compost, very well-rotted manure can add richness to the soil which roses love.

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Planting the rose

The Spruce explains to fill the pot so it is “about two-thirds full” of the soil mix.

For bare-root roses, “mound the soil up in the centre, then place the rose over the mound and spread the roots out over it”.

But for potted roses, all that’s needed is a “slight indentation” in the soil before the rose can be placed in the pot.

The Spruce added: “Fill in around the rose using the remaining potting soil, pressing it down firmly around the lower canes.

“The soil surface should be level with the bud union—the point where the rose is grafted to the rootstock.

“Fill the container right to the top with soil; it will settle with time.”

An added tip is to make sure the potted rose gets sunshine for at least half of the day.

Water the plant well and make sure potted roses are regularly watered so the soil is moist.

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