How to Grow Potted Roses


Planting roses in containers can bring color to blank areas of your patio, front steps, deck or balcony. Potted roses not only add beauty, they also save space and time. They can be moved, they're more accessible for watering and fertilizing and they can be grouped together for more impact. Almost any rose, with the exception of large climbers, will grow in a pot with a little bit of extra care.


Step 1

Choose a pot as deep as your rose's current container and 15 to 18 inches wide. Clay pots keep roses cooler during the summer, but they dry out very quickly. Plastic pots won't crack during the winter, but they do absorb more heat, so choose one in a lighter color, Rose Magazine suggests.

Step 2

Place a 1-inch layer of gravel or medium-sized rocks in the bottom of the container to help with drainage.

Step 3

Fill your pot about two-thirds full with a potting mix made for roses. If you prefer to make your own, combine one-third commercial potting soil, one-third compost and one-third manure. Rose Magazine also suggests adding 1 cup of perlite and 1 cup of bonemeal to the mix.

Step 4

Tip on its side the pot that your rose is currently in. Tap the bottom gently, and pull the pot off. If the roots have grown through the bottom, use a pair of scissors or knife to cut the container off.

Step 5

Place the rose into the new container. Gently tease out roots so they are spread across the bottom of the hole. See if the bud union (the ball-like node at the base of the plant) is at soil level; if not, add more soil to the hole, and reset the plant.

Step 6

Fill the rest of the hole with soil, then tamp the soil down lightly to remove air pockets. Water your rose thoroughly.

Step 7

Place your container in a spot that receives at least six hours of full sun each day.


Step 1

Water your rose daily in hot weather. Soil in containers dries out very quickly, and smaller pots may even need watering twice a day during very hot summers.

Step 2

Fertilize every two to three weeks with a fertilizer formulated for roses. Once a month, apply fish emulsion or compost to the soil to add trace elements. If you leave your containers outside during the winter, stop fertilizing before the first frost.

Step 3

Change the soil in your container every two or three years to refresh nutrients and get rid of any fertilizer salt buildup. When you change the soil, inspect your rose's roots and trim if the plant is becoming root-bound.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic or clay pot
  • Gravel or medium-sized rocks
  • Potting mix
  • Knife or scissors
  • Rose fertilizer
  • Fish emulsion


  • University of Illinois Extension: Our Rose Garden
  • Colorado State Extension: Growing Roses in Containers
  • Rose Magazine: Growing Roses in Containers
Keywords: roses in pots, container roses, growing patio roses

About this Author

Aileen Clarkson has been an award-winning editor and reporter for more than 20 years, earning three awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. She has worked for several newspapers, including "The Washington Post" and "The Charlotte Observer." Clarkson earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Florida.