Roses in Pots Please...

daisyhair(9 -Orlando)March 9, 2012

I am sorry.. I have searched several times on the forum (maybe I just am not doing it right!) but I can't find any info on growing roses in pots. I was sure I saw something here somewhere.

I have several questions.

One being should I add new dirt on top of old dirt (rose was potted last year and it looks like the dirt has sunk) or is monthly fertilizer enough to keep it healthy? (It's a David Austin Glamis Castle). I do have new mulch on it and it's been freshly fertilized.

Second.. can you put more than one rose (if it is a small growing one like Glamis Castle or other bush style David Austin Roses) in the same pot? I bought another Glamis Castle and wondered about adding it to the same pot as the one I planted last year? It's a 12" pot.

Lastly, I was told by David Austin people on the phone NOT to use Miracle grow soil or fert. What do you use to plant YOUR roses if you grow them in pots? I just bought organic soil and compost soil and a bag of manure (totally newb here)... this is what I planted them in last year (about 1/3 mix of each) and added the David Austin fert. they sell on the site. (added in when I planted).

I read here recently that it's not best to actually add fert. to the plant mix when planting new roses.. to wait till they are showing new growth to fert. I guess I just got lucky last year that they are ok!

I didn't buy more David Austin fert.. not sure I really need it.. I just used a Rose fert this spring.

Sorry this is so long!

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iowa_jade(C 5b H 6)

There is a wealth of information on the container gardening forum. Many of us here, with our rose ghetos (the sorry fate of roses that were bought with no space to put them-yet) also mix up their own potting soil to use.
New dirt vs old dirt: well, it does not hurt to knock out a plant and see how the roots are doing. After several years the pots may become root bound and you may have to saw off a bottom, and a corner or two and replace the soil from the bottom up and sides. I add a slow release pellets with the soil mixture with no problem.
There are no rose police and you can try anything although even Mini roses tend to grow huge with proper care.
After the leaves start cracking then I like to use a weak soluble fertilizer solution.
Peter beales is a big fan of growing roses in pots. Have fun regardless.

Here is a link that might be useful: Not many MG fans here also

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 4:17PM
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iowa_jade(C 5b H 6)

That link did not work try this one

Here is a link that might be useful: Al s' mix and other info

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 4:24PM
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daisyhair(9 -Orlando)


Thanks so much for the other forum..
I will head right over.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 5:48PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

You know, we DO like Miracle Gro potting soil, and their "Garden soil," too.

A study recently done here by the Dept. of Agriculture placed Miracle Gro at the top of the heap for bagged potting soil.

That said, DH usually adds to it "a little of this, and a little of that." But honestly, it's far better than anything else we can buy in our part of Southern California.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 6:12PM
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I don't think it's a good idea to plant 2 roses in one pot because you will end up having the root system tangling and choking each other, therefore making transplant a difficult task later on. Roses tend to grow very quickly and by 2nd year, you will find that a 20cm pot is far too small for your roses unless you prune them. I used to use inorganic fertilisers but I now change it to organic pellets to prevent the build up of salt/white solid particles clinging onto the pot which I believe is not healthy for the rose. I heard that Glamis Castle is a blackspot magnet. So you may need to spray it.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 6:18PM
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seil zone 6b MI

I answered your top dressing the pots question in your other post.

I would NOT put two roses in one pot and certainly not two Austins. They tend to be rather largish shrubs and there would not be enough root room in a single pot, no matter how large, for both roses to thrive. And it would be enormously top heavy as well. Go with two of the largest pots you can find and plant them separately.

You don't need to use any particular brand of potting soil. It just needs to be a good light weight, well draining potting soil. Never use regular garden soil, it's too heavy and won't drain properly. Miracle Gro soil is fine. DA just probably wants to sell you their fertilizer. I've used soils with and without fertilizers in them and there was no difference. These days it's hard to find a potting soil without fertilizer in it. I've also used soils with and without the water crystals and I haven't seen that that made any difference either.

I've posted a link below to a recent thread about growing roses in pots where I and others explain how we've done it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Roses in containers

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 8:16PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

I think (from my reading) that Glamis Castle is like Fair Bianca in NOT being a very vigorous rose. (I gave up on Austin Whites some years ago, tho I still moon over Fair Bianca.)

That said, I think I would avoid two roses in the same container, unless you are talking about a massive, massive container. You said 12 inches. In our experience, a 12-in. container is insufficient for anything greater than a Micro-Miniature. You might get by with a 24-in container, but even that would be tight, if the rose is healthy.

(Who has FAR too many roses in containers)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 8:58PM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

Any organic soil in pots will get used up over time, and after a year or so you will only have pots that look half full or worse. How much "shrinkage" there is depends on what was in the mix to begin with. The wood shavings/compost and other organics shrink the most, and indeed, eventually go away completely, leaving the inorganics behind -- the perlite, sand and so forth. Except for that I have noticed that the peat component does not do that -- it stays the same.

But since most purchased potting mixes are mostly compost and nitrolized wood shavings, a great deal of shrinkage -- could be half of the material in the pot every year -- is normal.

So, what to do about it? Flip the pot over, if you are strong enough, kick it a few times to loosen the roots from the sides and bottom and take the plant completely out of the pot. Then, add more potting mix to the bottom, about half way up, and put your other half back in on top of the new potting mix. Then stuff some more potting mix around the edges of the top half, so the water doesn't just drain around the existing rootball. The plant should now be sitting happily with the right part of the plant near the top edge of the pot. And you may think I'm crazy (and I am), but the plant will actually tell you it's happy by putting out some really nice blooms right after you freshen its mix.

You can get away with just adding things to the top -- but that's not going to work over the long term. Maybe you can do that once without problems. But at least every other year, out the plant should come from the pot.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 10:25PM
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seil zone 6b MI

I think that's because you have a much longer growing season than I do, Kathy. I don't have to repot mine for at least 3 years and sometimes as long as 5 because they only grow for 6 or 7 months of the year.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 11:27AM
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daisyhair(9 -Orlando)

Hi and good morning and thank you SO much for the excellent help!

I am going to get bigger pots. I know Glamis Castle is supposed to stay pretty small but it is already 2' tall in this pot. It's covered in buds. Is it ok to put in another pot now or should I wait until next year?

I am already so addicted to studying! I have read so much.. hours and hours. I can't stop. I am a gonner.

I just ordered 5 more roses from Coolroses.
I got Benjamin Britten, Carding Mill, Disneyland (OMG WOW! what beautiful pix of this rose online!), Alnwick and a Pink Intuition. I have read that Pink Intuition is a pain in the arse.. difficult and moody. I want to try though!

This forum is incredible. I am learning so much. It has helped me release some of my fear of growing roses in FL!

Love you guys.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 9:14AM
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Maryl zone 7a

Cool roses sells their roses on Fortuniana rootstock. That's a rootstock that is good for Florida's nematode ridden soil. Another thing about Fortuniana rootstock is that it increases the vigor of some roses and they can grow quite tall on it. It is also known for having a more shallow root system with less cold tolerance. Now the cold tolerance part is not a problem I would think in Florida, but if you have strong winds you might want to think about where you will place your pots before you fill them up with roses. I have grown quite a few roses in containers and in Oklahoma at least, the wind can cause major problems with knocking over even large containers full of roses...As for when you "up pot" a rose, there is no set time like spring. You do it when it needs it. Because you are in a warm climate your roses will grow quickly and you may find out you need to "up the pot size" on them sooner rather then later....Good luck to you...Maryl

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 2:07PM
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seil zone 6b MI

You can transplant them into large pots at anytime. Just try to disturb the root ball in the original pot as little as possible when you do it.

Sounds to me like you are good and hooked on roses now!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 8:40PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Here's what I was talking about, about pot sizes.

We have two "Roseville Noisette" plants which have grown up in 1-G pots, and were ready for transplant.

In maturity, they should eventually hit about 3 ft., but they're very fragrant, and I wanted them up higher. So they've just been transplanted into these big, big pots. (We had big fuchsias in those pots for some years, but fuchsia gall mite just devastated them.)

The two little "Rosevilles" should do really well here. THIS much size is probably more than is needed, but not a LOT more, for a full-sized rose.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 10:14PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Yeah, that's about the size of my big pots too, Jeri. But I don't use ceramic, pottery or terracotta any more. They are just too heavy once planted and they don't winter. I have several of the new foam/resin pots that size and I like them a lot.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 11:28PM
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daisyhair(9 -Orlando)

I just came in to check this out again and WOW look at that huge pot! I am afraid they are so expensive here that I could not afford (4) of them like I need right now!

I did get 20" plastic pots though.. twice the size of the old ones and am potting my new DA's (Pat Austin, Jude the Obscure and Alnwick) for their first year, in these instead of the smaller 12".

Three 1 year old potted ones from last year are going in the ground soon too. I appreciate all of you so much and I am rightly and surely hooked now! This AM my husband and I were talking garden design and we are going to work on a future design soon.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 3:28PM
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Big Lots has reasonably priced large plastic pots.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 4:52PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Most places, you're likely better off with plastic of some sort.

Those big ones tho -- LOOK AT THAT GLAZE!
They came from Costco -- imported from VietNam -- They've never had them this big again. They were sure a bargain.

Normally, though, we use plastic, even in our mild SoCal climate.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 6:08PM
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lagomorphmom(z10Coastal and z8Mtn CA)

AND, if you're gardening in Florida, I think we'd all recommend our good friend Sherry's blog: If Sweat Were Irrigation

Here is a link that might be useful: If Sweat Were Irrigation

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 8:51PM
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