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How to Grow Climbing Roses in Containers

Climbing roses are among the most beautiful flowers available, but for gardeners who live in areas with very cold winters or those with limited outdoor space, they can be difficult to grow. Though many people don't realize it, climbing roses can be successfully grown in containers. They can be placed outdoors during the summer and brought inside when cold weather arrives. The roses do require a bit more care when grown this way, but will thrive as long as their basic growing requirements are met.

Choose a planting container that is 15 inches wide and 18 to 24 inches deep. Select plastic or stone because terracotta, foam and wood pots will eventually disintegrate. The container should have several drainage holes in the bottom to prevent overwatering.

Add a 1-inch layer of medium-sized gravel to the bottom of the container. Prepare a growing mixture of one part potting soil, one part compost, and one part manure. Add 1 cup each of perlite and bone meal. Fill the container three-fourths of the way with the mixture.

Remove the rose from its growing container, and examine the roots. Clip off any that are dried out. Plant the climbing rose so that the area where the roots and stem join is level with the surface of the soil. Replace the soil, and pat down firmly. Water until the soil feels very moist, but not soggy.

Place the container in a location that receives a minimum of seven hours of sunlight each day. Water whenever the top inch of soil feels dry.

Insert a trellis behind the rose, as close to the edge of the pot as possible to avoid damaging the root system. Use plant ties to attach the canes to the trellis, but do not anchor them so tightly that the stems are damaged. Choose a trellis that is strong enough to support the plant as it grows.

Fertilize with liquid fertilizer once every two weeks. Add 1 tbsp. of epsom salts in spring.

Move the container inside, and place it in the sunniest area possible before the first fall frost.


If planting bare root roses, soak them in a bucket of water for six hours before planting.

Leave 2 feet between containers so that the air can circulate around the plants, which will reduce the chance of disease.

If your location is warm enough for the rose to remain outdoors during winter, the canes can be trained to grow around a porch banister or other permanent climbing structure.

Repot the rose when it begins to outgrow its container.

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