All about patio roses

Patio roses are a recently developed group, largely bred for their ability to survive in pots or containers.  Not to be confused with miniature roses (often sold as house plants in supermarkets), they are hardy and usually packed with perfect, small flowers.  Here’s our guide to where to plant them and how to care for them.

Why should I plant a patio rose?

Patio roses are compact, bushy plants that produce clusters of flowers and often repeat flower throughout the summer. They typically grow to just 60cm in height and spread so are ideal for smaller gardens or even window boxes where space is limited, or if you garden in pots.   They come in a variety of colours to suit every garden scheme.

Do patio roses need much maintenance?

Patio roses are easy to grow and very low maintenance.  As long as you keep them watered, particularly during the growing/flowering season, and apply a liquid rose feed from time to time, they should continue to reward you well.

Just remember to nip off spent flowers to keep more blooms coming and don’t let them sit in water.  After they have flowered, they appreciate a light prune to keep them in shape: see our question on pruning below.

How do I plant my patio rose in a pot?

Patio roses are perfect for pots!  Choose a container that is at least 30cm high and deep (12 inches) to give it room to establish, although the deeper the better.  Make sure your pot has drainage hole(s) as the rose won’t like becoming water-logged.

Many composts specifically cater for roses but a multi-purpose compost with some added rose food granules would work well.

Position your pot where the rose will get maximum sunlight, ideally for at least half the day.  The pot (the roots) can be in the shade as long as the rose is getting the sun.

Consider repotting it every 3 or 4 years; it can go back into the same container but refreshing the compost will give it a top-up of nutrients.

Can patio roses be planted in the ground?

Yes, patio roses grow really well in flowers beds too.  Use them to edge a border or as a lower tier of planting in larger beds.  Patio roses are also great when planted on a slope to help reduce soil erosion.

Just remember that they like the sun!

Should I prune my patio rose?

Yes, but it’s easy to do!  Pruning will remove any old or damaged stems to keep the plant in good shape and reduce the chance of disease.  It  will also encourage new growth next spring. Prune when the plant is dormant, between November and March in mild, dry weather.

Remember to always cut just above a bud or leaf; this helps to ensure you don’t end up with a ‘dead end’ of stem that will die back.  Ensure your secateurs are very sharp and clean, to avoid infection, and cut at an angle to prevent moisture sitting on the cut end.

Do I need to take extra care over the winter?

No.  Over winter, your patio rose will become dormant, so shouldn’t be affected by snow or frost.  However, if it’s not in a frost-proof pot, you might want to think about moving it to a more sheltered spot in your garden to protect the pot (rather than the rose!). 

If it is very cold, avoid pruning your rose until the weather warms up a bit, but before it starts growing.

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For more rose information, check our articles:
Guide to Planting roses 
Our guide to Roses 

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