The magnificent roses have decorated our gardens and houses since the dawn of time.
Whether it is their intoxicating fragrance, aesthetics, or velvety petals, they are an unavoidable addition to any garden and outdoor living space.
However, given that most people today live in a concrete jungle devoid of gardens, it raises the question of whether it is possible to grow roses in containers for the balcony or terrace?
The answer is simple- Yes! Moreover, growing roses in containers have its advantages because it allows you to control the conditions for growth: from soil composition to watering dynamics.
Therefore, growing roses in containers is not challenging since it is an experiment with great chances of success for even novice rosarians. Here is what you need to know.
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Find The Right Rose
Except for large rose varieties, most types of roses can be grown on your balcony as long as they receive a lot of sun exposure.
However, if you want to create a perfect floral display, you should opt for rose varieties that are repeat bloomers as opposed to the types that bloom once a year.
Usually, new cultivars flower continuously from summer to autumn.
Perfect roses for your balcony include miniature roses, mini florals, and small shrub roses.
- USDA zones 5-10
- Compact and bushy
- Ships dormant winter through early spring
- Deciduous - loses its leaves during the winter months
- Mature plant size is 18" tall
Choose The Right Pot
When you choose a rose, the next step is to choose the right pot.
Roses have a strong and extensive root system, so you should choose the pot in proportions to the size of your rose, with enough space to accommodate the root ball and provide room for additional root growth.
The container should range from 8 to 16-gallon, depending on the variety. But, of course, this rule does not apply to mini roses that can happily grow in a pot 10 to 15 inches in diameter!
Additionally, the pot must be stable enough to anchor the plant in gusts of strong wind or heavy rain.
And just one little piece of advice: While choosing, you should opt for a bright-colored container as dark pots absorb too much heat.
Prepare a Good Mixture!
One of the major musts for growing roses is soil rich in nutrients, so be careful not to skip this step. You can use a high-quality substrate mixed with compost for an additional boost and add some perlite to improve drainage.
If you are thinking of using your garden soil or topsoil, it is better to give up the idea, for many reasons. First, these soils work fine in the garden. However, when it comes to plants in pots, it is too dense and heavy with low air circulation and water flow, which is pivotal for the growth of your rose.
A Lot of Sun
Roses prefer bright Sun, so make sure to put your potted beauty in a place where it will receive at least 6 to 8 hours a day. Roses that grow in shady places give fewer flowers, usually followed by elongated stems and thinned leaves.
But, naturally, too much of anything can be detrimental to the plant- even though they are sun-loving plants, they are not cactuses, and all-day sun exposure might overheat the container and stress the roots.
Considering that roses call for a lot of Sun, this means that their soil dries quickly, indicating that they should be well watered. If you are not sure when it is the right time to water it, you can feel the top inch of soil with your fingers, and if it is dry, you should provide a good amount of water.
During the hottest months, you should increase your watering regime to stop it from drying out.
For those who are too busy to water their rose every day, you could try a self-watering garden container.
Roses generally require a lot of nutrients, especially those in containers, so make sure to provide them with a high-quality fertilizer.
The best choice is the slow-release granular fertilizer for roses which you can place in the potting soil while planting the rose-with additional bone meal for a root development boost.
Given that roses should be watered frequently, this means that the nutrients might get washed out of pots, so you should apply fertilizer every month to sustain their blooms.
Most of the miniature roses require little to no pruning, and the newer types are already self-cleaning, which means you do not need to deadhead your rose.
However, if you feel that your rose requires a little touch to stay a certain shape or to get rid of additional unwanted growth, you may use the same pruning and deadheading techniques for rose bushes.
The best time to prune your plant is in winter and spring.
Roses in containers need some protection during the colder months as the soil might get frozen and hinder their health.
When your rose goes dormant in the fall, you can store them in pots and move to a garage or a shed, to keep its roots from freezing and take them outside in spring.
If the pot for your rose is too big to be moved, use a layer of mulch on the top of the substrate or wrap the pot with a plastic bag or burlap to provide additional protection from the wind.
Generally, roses in the gardens do not need extensive care as the abundance of soil keeps them warm, sheltering from freezing and wind.
When to Repot
Given that roses are known for their fast-growing roots system, if you plan to keep your rose in a pot, it will eventually need a larger container to facilitate its root growth.
Alternatively, you can shorten its root by one-third and continue to grow it in the same pot.
Anyway, you should change your rose’s soil every couple of years as they are heavy feeders and will deplete the soil of its nutrients over time.
The perfect time for repotting is during their dormant phase, winter or early spring.
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