Roses are one of Britain’s most popular plants but not everybody has soil in their garden to plant a rose. Planting a rose in a pot works really well, not only can you take it with you if you leave a property but the rose can be moved to different areas as your garden matures.
What Size Pot Should I Plant my Rose in?
A 15 Litre pot measuring approximately 12” high x 12” across is sufficient for growing a single rose in a pot. Rose roots grow downwards, then spread out sideways after about 10″. Terracotta pots are preferable for planting as this helps with the removal of moisture, should you overwater. That said, roses in pots require more water than if they were planted in the ground, so be careful not to let them dry out.
Why you shouldn’t put a Plant in a Pot that’s too Big
This has always been a puzzling question. If you place a plant in the ground, the plant has as much soil space as it needs. So why is a smaller pot better when the plant is young than planting it straight into a big pot?
When we water the soil in a border, the water dissipates throughout the soil. As the moisture reaches a dry section, that soaks up the moisture and then on to the next piece of dry soil and so on until there is no more moisture for the soil to take up.
If there is too much soil in a pot, in relation to the size of the plant, the moisture has nowhere to go except to be used up by the roots. When a plant is young, the root system is not mature enough to cope with the excess moisture and consequently suffers as a result of overwatering.
Which Compost should I use for Planting Roses in Pots?
Tests have shown that a multi-purpose compost is sufficient for planting roses. However, I would suggest adding 25% John Innes to the compost mix to increase the water-holding capabilities of the compost. Do not use compost with added slow-release fertiliser, this could burn the young roots. Using mycorrhizal fungi when planting, will give your rose the best chance and help to keep the rose strong.
How to look after a Rose in a Pot
Roses respond well to regular feeding. Use a granular feed, lightly forked into the top of the compost in spring and mid-summer. All roses, whether planted or potted can suffer from pests and diseases. Spray with an all-round fungicide and insecticide in spring and again in summer. Remove the flower heads as soon as they go over and give the rose a light prune in autumn to keep the plant in check.
How and When to Buy Roses for Pots
Roses are sold in either bare root form or planted in pots. You can buy roses in pots at any time of the year. However, bare root roses are generally only available in Autumn as the plants are dormant.
As the name suggests, bare root roses come with no pots or soil and because they are in a dormant stage, no leaves either! If you are buying a rose for a pot online, then purchasing them “bare root” is the best option. The plant can easily survive the delivery journey. Just ensure you soak the roots in water for 24hr when the plant arrives to rehydrate the roots. The rose will then be ready to plant in your chosen pot.
Not everyone can wait till autumn to buy their roses. You can buy roses already potted at any time of the year. You might have noticed that potted roses come in slightly taller than usual pots, this is to accommodate the long roots. This is a great way to buy roses, especially as gifts. Potted plants are well packed for delivery these days but be sure to unpack the rose as soon as you receive it and give it a good drink The rose can easily survive in its original pot for some time, as long as you keep it well fed and watered.