Growing Patio Roses in Containers

Miniature roses are a delight in the garden.
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In this article, we will be discussing the best way to grow roses in containers but particularly patio and miniature roses.

In theory, any roses can be grown in containers, but this is not often practical for rambling roses and tall climbers, as they have such a large root system.

Miniature roses are a delight in the garden.
Miniature roses are a delight in the garden.

They can be grown in containers but the container that is used has to be very deep and very wide; something like 1.5m deep and 1.5m wide to do well. This means you need to build or purchase a deep raised bed to grow your rambler in, not very practical.

In a 30cm deep containers, the rambler will fail miserably. Roses really need room to grow and do well. Climbers are something similar, but miniature climbers do exist and they can be grown in containers. In this article, we will be talking about roses that will do well in small pots but not in large raised beds, and these are the miniature and patio roses. Shrub roses will need a bigger container, but not as big as that required from rambling roses.


Patio roses are like the compact versions of the larger floribundas and hybrids teas and tend to grow up to 60cm high. They ideally need a container that has a diameter of 30cm and 30cm in depth, so are more manageable in the container garden.

You think patio roses are small, but miniature roses are even smaller, only growing up to 45cm in height depending on the variety grown. They also produce dense clusters of flowers. These are ideal roses to have in your container garden as they bring much beauty in the colour of flowers and their bright, vibrant, glossy leaves.

When you are buying a rose specimen, choose a well-shaped plant with evenly grouped branches, health leaves and plenty of rosebuds. Do not buy if the rose shrub shows effects from blackspot, as the plant will never be healthy.

As said earlier when choosing a rose, use a large enough container for it and then fill it with an enriched, high organic content, multipurpose compost. Do not skimp on quality, as roses are very high consumers of nutrients.

The compost must be free-draining but yet moisture retentive.


As roses need plenty of sustenance then it will need to be well fed and watered, especially so as they are growing in a small volume. They will need to be fed weekly with a liquid rose fertilizer, whilst in active growth. I would personally use something like Phostrogen.

You will need to start feeding from the beginning of spring to late summer. Do not miss a week, as your rose will not forgive you for it. As they say, a healthy rose is a productive rose.

You can present your Roses in any container
You can present your Roses in any container

You will need to prune patio roses the same way as normal bush roses, but more on that later, whilst miniature roses tend to need less in the requirement of pruning. All they need is a light tidy up in late spring to remove dead branches.

Miniature roses tend not to be too hardy as other types of roses, as they are prone to winter damage. It is advised that you either cover them with fleece to protect them if severe frosts as are forecasted, or you move them indoors into a greenhouse if you have one, or at least a well-sheltered spot.


Choose a pot that is proportionally in size to that of the rose plant itself, so that it does not look too big or too small in the container. You can use clay, terracotta or plastic pots, the choice is up to you. Make sure the container has drainage holes, as a rose does not like to be waterlogged.

Roses can come in many colours including orange....
Roses can come in many colours including orange….

Cover the base of the container with good quality, high organic containing, multipurpose compost and add a couple of handfuls of growmore or fish, blood and bone, as this will give the plant an initial boost.

Tip the plant out of its original pots, If it does not come out easily, turn the pot on the side and knock it gently against something solid, and this should dislodge and loosen the plant from the pot. If it is still stuck, cut the plant away from the pot using a pair of scissors.

Support the root ball gently in your hand to stop it falling apart, especially while you are moving the plant. Start loosening the larger roots, as these are required to look for nutrients in the compost. Alternatively, if you bought the rose bare-rooted, then you will need to soak the roots in water for at least an hour before planting in the container.


Stand the plant in the centre of the pot and spread the roots out. Fill the gap as around the edges of the root ball by adding more compost. Make sure that any graft union is above the compost, otherwise, shoots will appear from the rootstock, taking all the vigour away from the scion rose growing at the top. These suckers need to be removed if they form.

... even pink ones
… even pink ones

Firm the compost down gently, leaving a 25cm gap between the top of the compost and the rim of the container. This will allow the plant to be watered easier. Water thoroughly to allow the plant to settle down.

To reduce the number of times you need to water the container, you can stand the pot in a matching spacer that is proportionate to the pot. Choose a saucer that is the same diameter as the diameter at the top of the container or slightly larger. It will look more balanced and more beautiful.

Top up with more compost if after watering, the compost settles too much.


The patio rose ‘Ginger Nut’ which grows up to 45cm in height and has double, apricot coloured flowers.

‘Top Marks’ has an abundance of darker orange, semi-double flowers that occur in larger numbers.

‘Pretty Pink’ is a wonderful patio rose and tends to have an abundance of pink, double roses that can grace any container.

‘Teeny Meany’ is more of an upright patio rose and tend to have plenty of single, red roses that often appear as a floribunda.

‘Gentle Reach’ that has an abundance of soft pink, semi-double flowers that appear en masse in floribundas.

Other varieties to consider is ‘Raspberry Royale’. ‘Stars ‘n’ Stripes’, ‘Anna Ford’ and ‘Sweet Dream’.


It is best to prune roses in early spring, just before new growth starts.  For miniature roses, it is best to wait until after the frosts have passed before you prune.  This is because sometimes new shoots can die back after cold weathers and these need to be removed.

Rose bring so much joy to the garden
Rose bring so much joy to the garden

What you need to do is remove any dead branched, any weak, spindly branches and thin out branches that are growing in the centre, especially those that are crossing. This will improve the health of the rose and improve its shape.

Cut back to 20cm any long branches that are growing on top of the rose, cutting just above a leaf joint. Any weaker shoots should be cut further back to encourage them to become more vigorous.

Patio rose may sustain quite a few broken branches, as you need to cut these off. Remove any weak, spindly growth and any dead material from the middle of the plant.

Once you have finisher pruning the rose in spring, add a handful of fish, blood or bone or growmore to give the rose a good start to the growing season. A repotted, well-pruned rose should produce plenty of flowers for the forthcoming growing season. Do not forget to deadhead flower regularly throughout the growing season, as this will help it to produce more blooms.


Patio rose in a hanging basket make a complete container display. To do this, you must use the right variety to grow, as you will be using it in place of annuals in a sunny spot to give a different approach to those boring hanging baskets.

An idea patio rose is ‘Suffolk’ that makes an eye-catching display of single red-flowers with yellow centres. It will be set off against dark walls where its beauty can be appreciated.

The biggest problem is as there is so little compost that it will need regular feeding and watering of the compost. This is especially true in those hot and sunny days.


In this article, we have discussed the way to grow patio and miniature roses in containers. They are not difficult to grow as long as you remember to prune, feed regularly, deadhead spent flowers and water when it is required. Get the basic right and it will reward you will plenty of blooms from late spring all the way to autumn.

Several colourful varieties can be grown and some have been highlighted in this article. If you want a colourful rose in a container or even in a hanging basket then these small rose are ideal. Grow these plants in containers are a great way of displaying these shrubs, so why not give them a try today.

If you have any questions and comments that you want to make on growing roses in containers, please do so in the comment box below.

Happy rose growing.


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