Join the RHS today and support our charitable work
Free personalised gardening advice
RHS members get reduced ticket prices
RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens
Free entry to RHS members at selected times »
Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops
020 3176 5800
Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm
Help us achieve our goals
Join the RHS today and support our charity
Growing roses in containers is ideal for small gardens or where space is limited, such as on a patio or terrace. Not all roses will thrive in containers, so it is important to choose the right type, such as a patio or miniature rose.
Only a few roses are tolerant of being grown in containers, as roses generally have long shallow roots for anchoring the plant and searching out moisture and nutrients. As long as deep containers are chosen, a good show of blooms should be achieved.
The best roses for growing in containers are the patio and miniature types, which can be grown in fairly small but deep pots 23-35cm (9-14in) deep. You could also try growing less vigorous, more compact ground cover and climbing roses, but use larger containers with a minimum depth of 30-45cm (12-18in).
The best compost to use is a loam-based John Innes No 3 to which 10 to 20 percent multi-purpose compost or very well-rotted manure may be added for richness. Position the container before filling with compost as it may be too heavy to move once planted up.
Roses love sunshine and should receive sun for at least half the day. However it is important that container-grown plants do not dry out or they will become prone to powdery mildew. If possible position the container so that it is shaded for part of the day, leaving the plant itself in full sun.
Ideally pot up plants in November using bare-root plants, but container-grown plants will do as well, and can be potted up any time between October and April.
For pruning roses, see below;
Rose pruning: climbersRose pruning: ramblersRose pruning: patio and miniature rosesRose pruning: ground cover rosesRose pruning: general tipsRose pruning: shrub rosesRose pruning: floribunda and hybrid teaMulches and mulching
Patio and miniature shrub roses have been bred with container cultivation in mind. There is even a range of miniature patio climbers, reaching a height of about 2m (6½ ft). Some varieties of ground cover roses and climbers are also less vigorous and more compact. Half standards (roses on a trunk), reaching a height of about 1.5m (5ft) can be used for a formal effect.
RosesRoses: choosing the bestRose aphidsRose black spotRose powdery mildewRose rust
the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9
RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.
We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.