How To Plant Garden Roses Into Containers Or Pots

How To Plant Garden Roses Into Containers Or Pots

Customers can sometimes struggle to find the right location in their garden borders for a rose, if this is the case – why not plant your rose into a container? The larger the rose, the larger the pot needed, so our smallest Patio Roses can be successfully grown for many years in a container thats 12-18” deep and wide going up to a half barrel size pot for a large Climbing or Rambling rose. 

Planting roses into containers offers flexibility within the garden to freely move pots around and maximise the enjoyment you get with your potted garden roses.

All roses can be re-planted into a container or larger pot, we recommend you use a heavy, frost resistant pot to add stability and help retain the moisture within the pot. As a minimum we would recommend something 12-14” wide and deep for smaller Patio or Ground Cover Roses and a Half Barrel tub for the largest Climber or Rambler Rose varieties.


Ensure you use a John Innes Number 3 loam based compost with an added layer of small stone or broken pots for drainage in the bottom of the pot.

Mix a good handful of Empathy Afterplant Rose Feed into the compost and begin to fill.

Hold the rose in position in the centre of the pot, so the crown of the rose is a couple of inches below the rim of the pot. This will allow space for the rose to be watered.

Fill the compost up until the point where the base of the roots begin.

If the rose you are planting is containerised, place a scoop of Rootgrow on top of the fresh compost where the roots of the rose will sit on top. If your rose is bareroot, sprinkle the scoop of Rootgrow onto the roots.

Place the rose back into the centre of the pot and fill compost to the pot.

Once done, compress the compost with your hands and top back up. Ensure the crown of the rose isn’t covered by any compost.

Water your rose well afterwards.

Commonly Asked Questions

What Compost Should I Use?

DO NOT USE ordinary Peat based Multi Purpose compost, your roses will not like it long term and you will eventually experience poor growth and die back, winter damage and probable death of the rose planted. This is a common problem with many so called experienced gardeners using the wrong planting medium and any rose planted into a compost that is not a Loam based Rose Compost and subsequently dies will not be replaced under the terms and conditions of our free replacement guarantee.

Use John Innes Number 3, available from all good garden centres.

Can Standard Roses go in Containers?

Yes, simply follow all of the same steps above, but allow for a large sized container in a heavy ceramic or terracotta. It is important to still use a Stake and Tie even when placed in a container to protect against cross winds.

How often should I water my roses?

Regular and daily watering during hot weather, avoiding the leaves, is very important when roses are in pots, failure to do this WILL result in the death of the rose, consider putting a plant saucer under the pot to help retain water and good levels of moisture in the compost.

Should I feed roses in pots?

Yes! Roses in containers and pots require more food since they are unable to get nutrients from soil. Potted roses should be fed three times a year in March, May and July. Use 1-2 handfuls of a specific rose feed such as Empathy After Plant Rose Feed sprinkled all around the base of the plant.