Introduction to Growing Roses in Containers:
It seems in recent years that more and more gardeners have taken to growing their roses in pots and containers instead of out in their gardens. It wasn't that long ago that this trend began. Certainly nurseries have been selling roses in containers for years, but most often that was as a practical matter to transport them to market, more than a gardening style. The truth is there are good practical reasons for using containers to grow your roses.
Now someone reading this is likely to ask the question right away: "How well do roses grow in containers?". The answer is rather simple. If you give the plants the proper growing conditions, there are few that will not perform just as well as if they were planted right in the ground. While there are a few differences that you have to be aware of when growing roses in containers, they are nothing that you can't overcome and you are likely to find that a well tended container rose offers options to you that you haven't considered before.
Reason #1 for Growing Roses in Containers:
The biggest reasons for containers gardening is one I think every gardener runs into, and that is just a lack of space. Those of us that spend a lot of time tending our gardens have a compulsion to fill up the empty spaces when we see them. Before long you will find you've run out of room in your garden and there are still so many beautiful plants out there that you would like to incorporate into your landscaping ideas.
Growing roses in containers offers yet another dimension of gardening that goes far beyond ground level. Now not every rose is going to be suited to container growing, and you will need to make sure you do your research on each variety to make sure it will do well. The biggest concern is how big the root systems get for each plant. Typically you will see roses labeled as "compact" varieties. These are also not surprisingly some of the same roses that often find their way into containers.
Reason #2 for Growing Roses in Containers:
Another great reason for growing roses in containers is the ease of access to the plant. I am amazed at how often gardeners discount this important benefit to container gardening. How many hours do we spend toiling over our yard and gardens and come in at the end of the day and have to deal with all the aches and pains from being doubled over working at ground level? Say what you will about traditional gardening, but there is something to be said for working smarter and not harder!
For some growers, containers offer the only way for them to garden at all, because they have physical limitations that prevent them from working with plants directly in the ground. I have seen community and private gardens alike that have become more and more friendly to those in the hobby that are just not physically capable of doing all the strenuous work. Some utilize containers to help these gardeners, and even others have gone as far as building complete raised beds for handicapped gardeners who would still like to stay involved in a hobby that they have spent their lives doing. Rather than give up gardening, many growers simply switch over to containers.
Reason #3 for Growing Roses in Containers:
Now earlier in my introduction I mentioned that growing roses in containers offers exciting new options that some gardeners overlook. One such benefit is the ability to bring live plants to locations that otherwise couldn't support them. Consider a deck or patio for instance. Just about every gardener has seen decks or patios that have border gardens surrounding them, but how many of them actually have container plants? If you stop to think about it, probably not that many that you can remember. I think the reason is because a lot of people are daunted by the prospect of growing in containers.
Growing in containers does require a little more diligence than growing in the ground, but don't let that scare you away. One of the greatest "challenges" to container growing that I've faced over the years is maintaining the proper moisture levels for the plants. I've grown everything from roses to vegetables in containers and I've had success with all of them…and more than one failure along the way too! The best thing you can do to ensure a healthy and thriving plant is to educate yourself about the plant you want to grow and then give it the best growing environment possible!
The Right Pots for Growing Roses in Containers:
Which brings us to our last point about container growing for roses; what pots work best? There are a couple considerations you need to think about before selecting a container, and no I'm sorry but looks have little to do with it. The first thing is you need to get a pot that is big enough to support the plant to maturity. So make sure you check with your rose supplier to determine how big the root system will get, and then choose a container just slightly bigger.
The next thing is you need to make sure the container has the proper drainage or your roses could become susceptible to various diseases. Most containers have drainage holes in them, or they have knock-outs that you can remove to create drainage. This is extremely important to the health and well-being of your roses.
Make sure you choose a container that has a wide base to give the pot stability. Roses can get very top heavy and the wrong pot will leave your plant at the mercy of every wind that blows by. A typical pot for larger roses would be round a 15 gallon. Smaller compact roses you could get away with growing in a 10 gallon container. If miniature roses are all you are looking for, a five gallon will usually do nicely.
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