Growing Patio Roses in Containers | Love The Garden

Growing Patio Roses in Containers

Hannah Gransden's picture
By Hannah Gransden, Seasonal Pro
A multi-coloured potted patio rose

If you are looking to grow patio roses in containers for your garden, then read on for our ‘crash course’ in how to do it.

Growing roses in the traditional sense is a little different to growing roses or patio roses in containers. When looking for certain flowers to grow in containers for your patio, the patio rose tends to be a popular choice. This particular flower, when grown in a container, can actually last for a number of years (when cared for correctly, of course). Roses can be grown in containers due to their long slender roots that can find nutrients and moisture. The containers must match the flower’s characteristics and be narrow and deep to accommodate the rose. There are some amazing things you can do as a result of this.

A patio rose is a miniature floribunda rose that can come in a variety of styles. Patio roses do not require too much maintenance and are smaller than the average rose (clue is in the name!). These types of roses are actually good for slope and erosion control. There are very aesthetically pleasing and tend to be one of the showiest blooms. As well as the plants vigor they can also give off a pleasant fragrance as well. 

Patio roses can grow between 18 and 24 inches high so the pots must cater for this and be around 36 inches deep to accommodate the flower. They can also be paired with miniature roses due to their similarity in size. There are different types of patio rose; Nice Day (patio climber), Sweet Dream and Laura Ford to name but a few.

Patio roses are usually embedded in short compact bushes and can be grown in tubs/containers, small flower beds and borders. With your patio roses you should look to plant them 18 inches apart.

Close up view of patio roses

Image credit: Wyevale Garden Centres

How to Take Care of your Patio Roses

Look to use compost that caters for roses, trees and shrubs. A mutli-purpose compost would be the best suggestion with added John Innes. This will make the pot heavier and prevent the pot from toppling over in windy conditions. Before filling the container, make sure it is in the final position you would like it to be in as the container will get very heavy!! Make sure your roses are in a position to receive at least half the day in sunlight. Do try to make sure the container is positioned in the shade for a large portion of the day so that the plant does not dry out, but the plant itself will need the maximum amount of sunlight. If it is not possible to position the container in such a way, then keep these points in mind and try to container and plant in the most suitable position.

Pruning your Patio Roses

The best way to maintain your patio roses is through regular care in the form of pruning. Of course, your flowers will also need to be properly fed and watered! If you are someone who has never ‘pruned’ their flowers before will have the same concerns; ‘what if I damage them?’ or ‘where do I even start?’ don’t worry though, it’s a little more simple than you think.

There are two key reasons for pruning your patio roses:

  • To take out old and diseased wood and to aid new roses to grow through
  • To maintain the overall flower and make sure they are getting all the nutrients they need.

You should aim to prune your roses when the flower is ‘dormant’ which is at two times of year depending on the weather. If it is a mild winter then aim to prune around November, however if the weather is frosty and cold, then look to prune your roses around spring time (March/April). Also after the summer, look to ‘deadhead’ your dead buds.  

Border roses during flowering

Image credit: Oliver's Nurseries

Here are some tips for cutting a shoot;

  • Always cut just above the bud. You will be able to see the bud on a stem. You will be able to determine lines on the stem to see where the leaf has grown. Above this there will be a little nobble which is the new bud, waiting to grow.
  • Choose the bud that is facing outwards, which is ideal for growth as you do not want a plant that is growing into the centre.
  • Cut at a slant so that you do not drown your rose when there is rainfall.
  • Make a clean cut around 1cm/10mm above the bud.

Look to prune these flowers in the same way you would prune floribunda or cluster flowered roses. These roses usually produce a lot of ‘twiggy growth’ so look to remove this type of wood and you will see that the main stems will be reduced by around a third to a healthy bud. Also look to take out any shoots that upset the overall shape of the bush. Also look to remove any shoot that is weak and looks as if it will grow into a new shoot as this will upset the overall look of the bush.

There are also shoots that will look nothing like your other buds, these are ‘suckers’, and should be removed from your bush as they will damage your plants. They can be quite easily determined by having 7 leaflets making up the leaf, are very thorny and tend to have light green and slightly ribbed foliage as opposed to normal roses which will have 5 leaflets making up the rose and will have darker green foliage. Best way to deal with a sucker is to pull and twist them off rather than cutting them.

Different varieties of patio rose

Image credit: Freemans

Feeding and Watering Patio Roses

It is important to feed your flowers for better growth and also for disease prevention as well. You should look to feed your plants after pruning them in the spring and then once again in the summertime after the first wave of flowering. Do not feed your roses after August as soft growth may get damaged by a cold winter. Look to purchase flowering food from all good gardening stores. You also may want to use a granular rose fertiliser too.  

Look to water your patio roses in the summertime every two days (unless there is rainfall), some will say that you should water your plants every day but I would say two days is just fine.

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