How to Grow and Care for Roses in Containers

Floribunda rose

Intro: There are many rose flower varieties that grow well in plant containers – you can choose a color, size, shape and fragrance that suits you and your balcony garden space. But because there are so many rose varieties, you should read books about roses, join an online forum discussion, a local gardening or rose club, or ask a knowledgeable staff member at your local garden shop about what varieties will work for you.


Rose varieties that generally do well in container gardens are floribundas, miniature roses and patio roses. See the Miscellaneous Information section at the bottom of this plant profile for more information about rose types that do well in plant containers. Keep a single rose flower plant in a well-draining 14-inch (7-gallon) or larger container, but larger is always better. Purchase a potting mix especially for roses to use in these containers. Prune heavily in the spring by cutting the top growth down to about 1 foot. Cut down to the simple lower branches. You will have to repot your rose plants every three years or so.

Scientific Name: Rosa species

Plant Type: Perennial flower

Light: Full sun

Water: When it comes to watering your roses, keep the potting soil moist but never soggy. Rose flowers are prone to root rot. They will benefit from to keep the potting soil from drying out as quickly.

Zone: Depending on the variety, roses are hardy from Zones 4 to 10. Bring rose plants into an indoor garden during harsh winters.

Fertilizer: Use a slow-release rose fertilizer, and fertilize according to the directions on the package.

Pests and Diseases: Rose flowers can be ravaged by a wide range of insect pests and diseases. Watch for aphids, spider mites, thrips and more. Fungal, bacterial and viral diseases are often a problem. Watch carefully and be prepared to treat these problems regularly with insecticide or fungicide.

Propagation: Propagate by taking cuttings. Cut at an angle below six sets of leaves. Remove the bottom leaves and dip the cutting in rooting hormone. After planting in potting soil, cover the cuttings with plastic wrap or a jar to keep humidity high. The new rose plant will take about two months to root.

Misc. Info: Some rose flowers, such as climbers and hybrid teas, won’t do as well in plant containers as they will in the ground. The following rose types will do well in container gardens.

Large roses: Floribunda roses, which are a cross between hybrid tea rose flowers and polyantha roses will do well in plant containers. Many flowers bloom on each stem of floribundas. Floribundas come in almost any color, are good for the container garden. In larger, heavier plant container, floribunda roses can be trained to grow vertically into the shape of a tree (they are top-heavy, so they need to have a sturdy, heavy container).

Medium roses: Patio rose flowers can grow to 3 feet tall and grow compactly.

Small roses: Miniature roses also do well in container gardens. Miniature rose flowers have both smaller blooms and foliage. These roses can do well in a 1-gallon or larger plant container.





Pink Rose Flower

Yellow Rose Flower

Red Rose Flower

Additional information