Potted roses: a short cultivation guide to decorate your balcony or terrace

by Mark Bennett

April 23, 2024

Potted roses: a short cultivation guide to decorate your balcony or terrace

Roses are amongst the most beautiful plants you can grow in your garden, but they can be "space hungry" and you may not be able to cultivate them if your property is small.

That said, some rose species can be grown in pots and can be used to decorate your balcony or terrace. Good exposure to sunlight is all you basically need.

How to grow roses in pots


To grow roses in pots, it is necessary to use pots/containers at least 50 cm deep and preferably planting them in spring or autumn. Particular attention must be paid to providing the roses with proper, nourishing potting soil.

Fill the pots with well-draining soil meant for flowering plants to prevent excess humidity causing root rot. Enrich the soil by using a slow-release, granular fertilizer for flowering plants. Add perlite to improve drainage.

To plant a rose, fill the pot to the 2/3 mark with soil, insert the plant and then add more soil to just below the start of the plant's buds. Water generously immediately after planting and thereafter only when the upper part of the soil is dry (early in the morning or after sunset).

Place your rose in a sunny location, so that it gets good exposure to sunlight for at least 7 hours a day.


Potential problems with potted roses


Even if grown in pots, roses are not free from potential health risks and other problems (especially if placed outdoors). Check your potted roses regularly for the following:

  • the growth of weeds in the soil around your roses must be prevented by regular weeding and/or mulching;
  • parasites, such as aphids and scaled insects, can also attack potted roses: carefully inspect your roses and act as soon as you spot the first signs of the presence of parasites. Treat your plants with a solution of water and baking soda to eliminate harmful parasites.

Best rose species for potting


Some species of roses are more suitable than others for growing in pots. If you choose a climbing species, make sure you give it good support structures to climb on; also, select rose species with small flowers, as large flowers increase the risk of the plant tipping over.

There are 4 different species of roses that are particularly suitable for growing in pots:

  • polyantha: these are medium-sized rose shrubs, ideal for borders and hedges; polyantha are robust and vigourous growers which form low, dense bushes;
  • miniature roses: small in stature, miniature roses are perfect for cultivation in pots;
  • ground cover roses: these roses grow at ground level, covering the edges of their pots; they are also perfect for setting up borders;
  • patio roses: these are roses of intermediate size (somewhere between the classic rose sizes and the miniature species); they are very dense, medium-small shrubs.

Have you already chosen the roses you'll put on your terrace or balcony?