The Convenience of Growing Roses In Pots
You don’t need a large garden to grow roses because growing roses in pots is quite simple; a few pots of different sizes and you are ready to go but just make sure that you don’t buy any narrow necked pots as roses need a lot of space. You need a diameter of at least 15 inches for a small rose bush or shrub. Deep and wide pots are ideal for roses as the roots tend to grow horizontally. Although you can grow a climber in a pot, smaller varieties are more suited.
Choosing the Right Pots
Check with your local nursery about the disease-resistant varieties best suited to your weather conditions. Select pots according to the size and shape of the roses you have chosen. Terracota and clay pots are best but wooden or light colored plastic pots will also do. Dark colored pots tend to absorb heat which in turn depletes the moisture in the soil.
If you are going to plant cuttings, only choose those stems that have a few leaves on them and the cut should be clean at a 45 degree angle.
Preparing the Soil for Your Potted Roses
There are different suggestions for preparing the best soil for pots: 1 part clean soil (without any weeds or roots) and 1 part compost mixed with half part perlite or 1/3 potting soil mixed with 1/3 well-composted mushroom and 1 cup of perlite and bonemeal each. The idea is to get a nutrient rich soil for your pot.
To prevent clogging of the pot with wet soil, always place a base layer of gravel first then fill one third of the pot with potting soil. As with planting in the ground, you need to mound the soil and pour water over it. Once the soil drains out completely, re-mound the soil.
Planting the Rose Bush in the Pot
Dip the cutting into root hormone powder and then bury into the mounded soil in the pot. Mulch around but away from the plant; filling right up to the top of the pot. The surface of the soil should be in line with the bud union. Press the soil around the plant firmly and gently pour water taking care not to splash onto the leaves. This removes air pockets that may have formed during planting.
Wait until the water drains out completely and then move the pot to a spot that will get the maximum sunlight. All roses need at least six hours of direct sunlight. Wrapping the pot with a clear plastic sheet is also a good way to retain high humidity.
Feeding and Watering Your Roses in Pots
Unlike ground-based roses that need less frequent watering, potted roses need a bowl of water every day. You will have to water more in summer and spring than in winter. Feed your rose plant every week with 2 tablespoons of natural fertilizer mixed in two gallons of water. Alternatively, fish emulsion feed or houseplant food once a week will suffice. This adds micro-nutrients to the soil.
Long Term Maintenance of Your Rose Bush
Once in every two or three years, just before the onset of winter, remove your plant from the pot and plant it deep into the ground, if you have the space, otherwise just re-plant it in the same pot. Trim off dead twigs, branches, and leaves regularly and prune at least once a year in spring. Space your pots at least two feet apart to prevent spread of fungal diseases.
Your rose plant will take about 15 to 20 days to establish itself so don’t be disheartened if you don’t see any new growth in the first month. Your rose plants will soon grow and thrive in their pots.