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David Austin in containers?

Posted by Joopster 5 (Chicago) (My Page) on
Thu, May 15, 14 at 11:04

I ordered some DA climbers but soon realized that i only have a foot of good soil, the rest are heavy clay. So I decided to grow my roses in pots. I was only able to find 22" pots in plastic. The biggest ceramic and clay pots available were 18". Which should I go with?

Here is what I got:
~Spirit of Freedom
~James Galway
~Charles Darwin
~A Shropshire lad
~Golden Celebration
~Abby Darby

This post was edited by Joopster on Thu, May 15, 14 at 11:23

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: David Austin in containers?

And Princess Alexandra of Kent

Pot dimension: 18-in H x 21.7-in W x 21.7-in D

This post was edited by Joopster on Thu, May 15, 14 at 11:37

RE: David Austin in containers?

I am no expert; there are probably others who can chime in on this but I would choose the smaller, clay pot. My reason is that the bigger the pot, the longer your plant will spend trying to fill it with its root system. Now, a good root system is not a bad thing, obviously. But if the pot is too big, the plant struggles and it will be a while before it starts putting out leaves and blooms. Give it the smaller pot, allow it to develop a decent root system but also build a strong plant, and then you can always transplant up to the larger pot when the plant is strong.

I also noticed you are growing Golden Celebration. GC and SoF were two of the 36 or so DAs I grew when my climate zone a 6, before we moved. Both were favorites; they're beautiful. GC tended to wilt in afternoon sun, even though she was well-watered and cared for. If your temps get hot, I'd protect her from the hottest part of the day and keep her watered. SoF was a gem, so gorgeous; but she tended to ball. Beautiful bush, though, and great form. I'd grow her again in a heartbeat. I don't know about your experience with DAs, but I just thought I'd mention those two.

RE: David Austin in containers?

Thanks kinglemuelswife. After some good advices from you and others from the antique roses people, my husband and I are now thinking about building a large flower box with bottom opening. We will lose up the ground and plant them that way.

I did noticed that some of of DA roses wilt on very hot days. Last year I planted Port Sunlight and Princess Margaret in teh ground and they tend to fade and wilt on those 80-90 degrees days. I got Ab Darby potted 3 weeks ago, I left it in full sun and after 2 days of 80 degrees, it wilt too. Luckily I didn't put it in ground yet. So I'll be more mindful about where I'm going to place the rest.

RE: David Austin in containers?

  • Posted by seil z6b MI (My Page) on
    Fri, May 16, 14 at 16:55

Go with the bigger plastic pots for two reasons. The bigger the better and the ceramic ones will not winter in zone 5. Even stored in a garage they will freeze and crack. Besides that the weigh TOO MUCH! Even if you never plan on moving them I can guarantee that at some point you will have to and a ceramic/clay pot full of wet soil and a full grown rose weighs a TON!

You will need to water and fertilize them a little more often in pots. The pots dry quicker and the fertilizer does get washed through and out quicker. Yes, I've found that some DA roses are water hogs and will wilt quickly when they're thirsty so you need to keep an eye on that and water more often.

I grew Graham Thomas in a pot for about 5 years and the last three I needed to put one of those small trellises in to help hold it up because it got so tall. So be prepared to find supports for them as they mature.

RE: David Austin in containers?


What size pot do you recommend for roses?

Graham Thomas in a pot for five years, that's impressive!


RE: David Austin in containers?

  • Posted by seil z6b MI (My Page) on
    Sat, May 17, 14 at 17:37

Thanks Lynn! The pot GT was in was about 24 inches across and maybe 20 inches deep and shaped more like a cauldron than a flower pot. So it was just as wide at the bottom as the top. Since then I've gotten some even larger ones. I shop for the biggest pots I can find. It helps cut down on how often I have to root prune but the bigger they are the more soil around them for protection in the winter too. The other thing is the wind. I'm on the lake and there are always good stiff breezes blowing. I've had problems with some of the taller ones tipping in the wind if the pot isn't large enough and heavy enough to hold them. All that vertical cane and leaves acts just like a sail in the wind and blows them over. That's also why I like the wider bottomed pots best. They're less tippy.

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