Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Plant Roses in Pots

By Corey M. Mackenzie ; Updated September 21, 2017

Growing roses in containers offers a lot of versatility for gardeners. You can place the container anywhere you wish and bring it indoors during inclement weather. Even apartment dwellers with sunny balconies can plant roses in pots, bringing the beauty of a garden close to home. Planting roses in pots in no more difficult than planting them in the ground. You will, however, have to practice greater vigilance about watering and feeding the roses--roses in pots have access only to moisture and nutrients in their pot.

Choose a plant pot that is tall and wide enough for the rose as it grows. There are many varieties of roses, including very small roses, and the pot should match the size. Pots should also have drainage holes, as roses easily develop fungal diseases if left standing in wet soil.

Place one to two inches of river rock or gravel in the bottom of the plant pot. This will help with drainage, keeping the plant roots from standing in water. Fill the rest of the planter pot with potting soil about three fourths to the top of the pot.

Gently place the rose bush up to the crown in the soil--the crown is the area where the stems/branches sprout out from the roots--the top of the crown should sit just slightly below the rim of the pot. Spread the roots to the sides and then spread potting soil all around the crown to stabilize the plant. Add more soil around the sides, over the roots and atop the crown until the pot is filled.

Water it well, until water comes out of the bottom drainage holes. During this time the soil will settle slightly and you can make sure the rose does not sink down too low in the pot (where the stem meets the crown should be level with the pot’s rim).

Add more potting soil to fill in any areas necessary. Add some root hormone or fertilizer to give the plant a good start--water the fertilizer or root hormone in according to package instructions (watering a fertilizer in helps prevent burning the plant).


Things You Will Need

  • Large planting pot
  • River rock or gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Rose
  • Garden hose
  • Root hormone or rose fertilizer


  • You can buy small rose bushes already in pots (these will usually need to be repotted quickly) or in bags from many nurseries. When replanting, keep some of the original soil around the root ball to ease the shock to the plant.
  • Potted roses usually need to be watered at least once a day.
  • Any large pot will do, as long as it has drainage holes.


  • Stan Barrett of the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension advises against placing saucers or pans beneath pots. These keep the rose bush's roots too moist, which can lead to root rot.