Best Roses for Growing in a Container

The six types of roses that are best suited to growing in containers are:

 

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1) Miniature

  • The smallest types of roses growing to less than 50cm high with small flowers of 5cm across.
  • Mini Floribundas have a dome-shaped growth habit and become clothed with flowers all the way around. Mini hybrid teas form a classic goblet shape with flowers towards the top.
  • If you have a very small garden or even just a balcony, you'll be able to grow miniature roses in quite narrow pots providing they're at least 30cm-45cm (1-1.5 feet) tall.

 

Rose Mothers Day

The best choice - Mothers Day Miniature Rose

 

2) Standard Roses

  • For smaller gardens or balconies, patio standards grafted at 60cm usually work best. Medium sized to larger gardens can accommodate standard roses which are grafted at around 90cm.
  • Both are essentially a variation of the normal bush rose with an initial non-branching trunk with stems and flowers forming at the top of create a lollipop-type appearance.
  • Standard roses are perfect for adding height and formality to the garden, especially if planted in linear rows, for example along a pathway, or either side of an entrance.
  • The shape formed by the head depends on the variety chosen - floribundas form a ball shape; hybrid teas a goblet-shape from the graft; and ground cover varieties become weeping.

 

Rose Iceberg Standard

 

3) Smaller Floribunda Roses

  • Latin for "many flowering", these bear many flowers in large clusters. Not normally as scented as Hybrid Teas but hardier, more robust with a higher disease resistance and easier to grow.
  • Usually grow to a max 1 metre by 1 metre (3 feet by 3 feet) in a dome-shape that becomes clothed with flowers on short stems from summer to late autumn. Need to be grown in full sun.

 

Recommended Floribunda Roses for growing in a container:

Rose Arthur Bell

Rose Hot Chocolate

Rose Irish Eyes

Rose Korresia

 

Rose Hot Chocolate

Rose Hot Chocolate

 

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4) Ground Cover Roses

  • Ground cover roses work well, giving a cascading effect as they spill over the edges of the pot.
  • They naturally have a low, spreading growth habit, reaching up to a metre (3 feet) across yet rarely more than 30cm (1 feet) tall. They generally flower freely and continuously, covering the ground  with a sea of colour throughout the summer.
  • If you combine smaller, more compact ground cover roses with a larger container, you can even grow them around the edge of a larger plant.
  • Pest and disease free, very hardy and therefore easy to grow.

 

Recommended Ground Cover Rose for growing in a container:

Rose Suffolk

Rosa ‘Suffolk’ is a low growing, deciduous groundcover rose which produces single, beautiful scarlet-red blooms throughout summer and autumn. These are followed by burnt orange hips, which contrast beautifully with the mid-green foliage.

‘Suffolk’ makes an excellent groundcover plant, contrasting beautifully with other groundcover plants, such as Juniper and Arabis.

 

Rose Suffolk

 

5) Polyantha Roses

  • Polyantha roses are one of the parents of floribunda rose bushes. They form a smaller bush than floribundas, making them great for containers, but still maintain a sturdy plant overall.
  • They're low-growing, bushy roses normally reaching no more than 45-60cm tall with small leaves and dense clusters of small flowers in shades through whites, pinks and reds on short stems.

 

Recommended Polyantha Rose for growing in a container:

Rose Ballerina

Clusters of tiny, slightly fragrant flowers adorn this pretty polyantha rose throughout summer to early autumn. Pale pink tips and cream centres, this is one of the most reliable and free-flowering varieties available. Excellent addition to any mixed border, they do flower best in full sun.

The pruning of them differs slightly from other rose bushes as pruning too much can cause growth decline and too little can cause it to bush out with not many flowers.

 

Rose Ballerina

 

6) Smaller Climbing Roses

  • Smaller climbing (not larger rambling) roses succeed in containers providing you have a decent amount of space that can accommodate a larger container with minimum depth 45cm (1.5 feet).
  • See our separate article about how to grow a climbing rose in a container for more details.

 

Recommended Small Climbing Roses for growing in a container:

Rose Compassion

Rose Golden Showers

Rose New Dawn

Rose Zephirine Drouhin

 

You'll want to avoid hybrid tea roses, shrub and rambling roses and larger floribunda varieties which don't do so well in containers and are best suited to planting out in the garden instead.

 

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