The fact that roses can be grown very well in pots caught people's attention in the last part of the nineteenth century, especially in England. Till then, they were confined to flower beds, and had to be protected extensively from harsh climatic changes. Planting roses in pots not only helps one protect the plant from varying environmental conditions, but also allows an individual to render it special care and attention. It has become an interesting proposition for many people, as people now live in apartments or on small properties, and find it difficult to tend to large gardens.
How to Grow Roses in Pots
Choosing the right variety is imperative. Although large climbers, hybrid tea varieties, and big garden roses will grow in pots, they will never reach their full potential. So choose carefully and wisely, as there are a wide number of shrubs and bushes that come in every hue and color possible to satisfy your need to enliven your deck or patio. There are also certain varieties that have been cultivated specifically for container gardening.
Pots and Containers
There are a number of pots one can choose from; wood, ceramic, plastic, and clay. Some old hands at growing roses have successfully trained these beauties in old discarded barrels too. Give it a try, as the process is similar to growing and planting them in pots. Clay pots are better as compared to others; thanks to them being porous, they allow the roots to breathe well.
Growing Roses from Cuttings
Rose propagation requires care and quite a bit of attention while grafting it. Experienced gardeners and naturalists will vouch for the fact that roses grown from seeds do not come true, hence propagating them from cuttings or grafting is a better option. This especially stands true for hybrid and/or cultivated varieties. Rooting a cutting is a tricky affair. So, make sure that you use minimum 4-5 cuttings. Choose a healthy stem, generally the upper part of the plant or laterals. Select stems that are four to six inches long, and have at least two or three young leaves growing on them, as leaves will speed up rooting. Make cuttings at a 45 degree angle, and ensure that the cut is clean. Remove all buds, flowers and just retain a few leaves. Dip the bottom two inches of the cutting into a rooting hormone powder, and gently push the stem in moistened soil in a small pot or jar. Wrap a plastic sheet around the pot to maintain high humidity levels. Set the pot near a well-lit window and keep the soil damp at all times. In about two to three weeks the roots will sprout. Slowly harden off the plant before transplanting cuttings to pots. If you can't manage a healthy plant from cuttings, pick them from local nurseries.
Soil Preparation and Planting
Roses love well drained soil. Soil should consist of one part weed-free soil, one part garden compost, and half part perlite. Layer the bottom of the pot with one inch of gravel for easy drainage, and fill two-thirds of the pot with the soil mix as a measure for weed control. Carefully, but firmly plant the rose, add soil around it, until it reaches the upper knot. The top layer of the soil should have one cup of bone meal mixed in it. The knot of the plant should be well covered with soil, so compress the soil with hand, pour water gently towards the corners, until the pot fills up. Let the pot stand undisturbed for a while, this will help excess water to get drained out. Move to a location where the plant will receive partial sun for a few days. In about 15-20 days the plant will be well established, and will be ready to move.
Water rose plants according to the season, more in summer and spring, and lesser in winter. These plants do not like stagnated water, as they are very susceptible to root and stem rot. Too much or too little moisture levels result in poor flower show. Feed your plant with fertilizer or organic compost every week during the growing season, and none at all during dormancy. Special winter care is essential to their health and for next years bloom. So, keep them well protected from frost and chills. Pruning after the flowering season is over, and regular snips to its dead flower heads, will keep the plant in shape and diseases at bay.
Pot planting is not at all time-consuming, as one just needs to learn a few basic tips and be ready for the enchanting blooms. Wherever you may plant your rose, it is, and will always be, a thing of beauty.