Proper potting technique for potted rose tree

cadillactasteMay 17, 2013

I recieved a Playboy Rose Tree for Mothers Day.

Size of pot?
1 inch gravel at bottom of pot?
Best potting soil? (Since we'll be winterizing this in the garage I am concerned with the weight of the pot)

I came across this:
To prepare a container for the rose to be planted in, place a layer about one inch deep of gravel or other medium sized rocks in the bottom of the container. This serves as drainage and prevents the soil from becoming too compressed at the bottom. Next, to prepare the soil, combine one third good quality commercial potting soil, one third well- aged garden compost (if this is not available then substitute more of the potting soil) and one third well-composted mushroom or steer manure. You may wish to add an extra cup of perlite to the mix to enhance drainage. It is beneficial to the rose to add one cup of bonemeal to the soil. To increase the nutrient level, fishmeal and bloodmeal may be added. Roses are heavy feeders, as they need fertile conditions to produce many blooms over the growing season.
Fill the container about two-thirds full with the soil mix. Place the rose, with its roots spread out comfortably, over the slightly mounded soil. Then fill in around the rose with the remaining earth. Press down gently and firmly around the protruding canes. The soil surface should be level with the bud union (where the rose is grafted onto the rootstock). If the rose seems too deep in the container or the soil level is well below the brim of the pot, repeat the planting procedure. The soil will compress somewhat with time and the entire contents will sink somewhat in the container. It is advisable to fill the container right to the top. Water so that the contents are well saturated. Containers dry out more quickly than soil in the ground; it is important to water container roses often, especially during long periods of drought and heat. A quick spot-check for dryness will determine whether a rose needs to be watered. Scratch about an inch down into the soil. If it is totally dry the rose is in need of fluid.

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bitzppa(11)

from my experience scratching down halfway or a bit more in to that type soil in a pot will show wet soggy soil no mater how long its been sense the last watering.

don't know anything about roses though so that could be good but I would expect not good.

there are plenty of threads on this forum about pine bark based potting mixes that would probably best suit your needs for growing in pots.

it is an interesting subject which is fun to mess around with and makes a lot of sense to me and seems to work for many on here, and from my short experience is working for me too.

BZ

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 9:24AM
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cadillactaste

Thanks BZ! I'll do that...just want a lighter soil is all when it comes to hauling this around to our John Deer garage.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 3:29PM
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bitzppa(11)

its amazing how much lighter bark mix is compared to potting mix etc.. probably because its not holding a lot of water ?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 2:39AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If your primary concern is the weight of the soil, I'll leave you to figure out what's lightest. If your focus is offering your plant(s) the best opportunity to come as close as possible to realizing their potential, you can do a LOT better than the suggested soil and methodology you inquired about in the OP.

1/3 commercial potting soil (regardless of its quality) + one third well-aged garden compost + one third well-composted mushroom or steer manure will yield an extremely water retentive soil that lacks adequate aeration, and even an equal part of perlite won't help. You're also at risk of fertilizer burn or ammonium toxicity (especially when it's cool and/or cloudy) if you're not VERY careful about using a combination of fishmeal/bloodmeal. A good soluble synthetic fertilizer would be easier, more efficient, and less likely to burden you with issues related to your nutrient supplementation.

Al

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 9:43PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Rose trees and or roses are notorious for dying in a conatiner mix that does what Al is saying within the first season.

I would invest in a good soilless mix that is suggested my many here....Just type in 'Tapla Mixes' in the garden web search feature and you will get a great start!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 2:02PM
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cadillactaste

Al I wish for my rose tree to flourish. Just when trying to figure it out. I'd seen mention of using a light soil in pots that need winterized and assumed that the route to go.Which I had no idea one considered that. Now that I know otherwise...I'll forgo that option.

Bummer...our mature compost was just pushed over a steep ravine hill in hopes to remedy a horrible dead smell that we wasn't sure was coming from that area. Or down wind to our lake association. It seemed to help...but again it depends on cross winds. So still not saying it totally fixed our problem.

So where does one get mature compost? Garden center?

Can I stick to Miracle Grow? And how often would you suggest it? On the YouTube video I watched it said every other water. Then or said after you deadhead.

I've ground cover roses and they are simple. But I do wish to give this tree a chance. Not only is it pretty...it was a gift from my boys.

Meyermike...soulless mixture. Is that the gritty soil I have read about? I'll check it out as well.

I'm just leaving it in the pot it came from until I know how not to kill it.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 4:53PM
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DrMuffinz(6a)

cadillactaste, I have been doing a lot of work looking into soil and potting before I plant my container roses, since I will need to overwinter them too. Here is what I think I am going to do:

Get a large planter, line the bottom with newspaper and then some stone. Wrap the sides in bubble wrap for added insulation during the winter.

I've considered making my own soil blend (specifically this one but the more I look into it the more complicated it seems to get!

In the end I think I will follow the advice in the comments of that post and get this pre-mixed soil and and then use fish fertilizer.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 2:53PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

FWIW - the newspaper will just slow drainage and retain more water. The stones won't improve drainage ..... in fact, they are counter-productive because they will cause water to perch in the soil ABOVE your drainage layer; and the bubble wrap won't offer any protection against killing lows - it will just marginally increase the length of time it takes for the temperature to reach that critical temp.

CT - there are different ways to look at a soil. To me, a heavy soil is one that retains a lot of excess (perched) water. Light soils aren't necessarily light in weight, but they are airy and hold little or no excess (perched) water. Mature compost, or any kind of compost is great in the gardens & beds, but can quickly become problematic in containers because of its small particle size and its propensity to hold LOTs of water ...... something you'd be better to avoid in containers. If you concentrate on ensuring your chosen soil will retain adequate amounts of air (even at container capacity) for the expected interval between repots (different than just potting up) you'll be offering your plants a better opportunity to grow closer to their genetic potential.

The fertilizer part is easy. If your soil has dolomite in it (which has the Ca/Mg Miracle-Gro lacks), you can use their all purpose 24-8-16 or 12-4-8. Don't concern yourself about building a soil to feed the plant. That's what fertilizers are for - container gardening is much different than growing in the earth, and many of the strategies (like feed the soil and not the plant) are best left in the garden.

Al

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 6:13PM
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cadillactaste

Thanks Al!

Watering the tree it seems like small bark that moves when water hits it. Could that be the soilless mix mentioned by Meyermike?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 7:56PM
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