Growing Roses in Pots
Indoor plants are trending in 2012, but cultivating delicate shrubs in containers can require special technique. We turned to Halmar Taschner, the General Manager at renowned nursery Ludwig's Roses, for some advice on how to pot the perfect rose bush:
- Roses grow well in all types of pots and containers.
- In order to select the right size pot take into consideration the water holding capacity of the container. Larger variations of roses require more water, and hence larger pots. An ordinary hybrid tea or floribunda rose will perform best in a 20 litre container. A miniature rose can make do in a smaller pot. A climber, shrub or standard rose, however, will require a considerably larger vessel. If the pot is large enough, several roses can be planted in one.
- A good potting soil should be used. Ideally this should contain 70% organic matter, such as compost, manure, milled pine bark and peanut shells; 20% standard soil and 10% gravel or ash clinker.
- Roses in pots must be watered sufficiently every day. As a general rule you should continue watering until the liquid visibly drains through the holes at the bottom of the container. In summer, roses can require up to 20 litres a week.
- Good drainage is essential. The soil should not compact such that water and air cannot move freely through the pores and reach the roots. Compacted soil is usually indicated by water standing on the surface for some time. If this does occur, soil should be renewed with coarse compost.
- An application of fertiliser is required at least once a month. You should add 30g of Ludwig's Vigorosa for every 20 litres soil volume.
- All other general rose care guidelines also apply to roses in pots.
- Roses can perform well in the same container for up to ten years, subject to the initial soil preparation. Soil should be constantly monitored and replaced with an improved potting soil mix if required. Rose bushes can also easily be repotted. The cooler winter months would be the best time to do so.