Red roses are a Valentine’s Day staple, but have you ever thought about growing them yourself so you can enjoy them year-round? The process is actually easier than you think and can be achieved in just a few simple steps, as long as you’re consistent.
Below you’ll learn proper potted rose care, including sun, water, temperature and other care needs so you can begin nurturing your roses. We’ve also included different types of roses, some frequently asked care questions and a bonus section on rose bouquet care.
Coming from the genus Rosa in the family Rosaceae, this iconic flower is known for its representation of romance and beauty. With over three hundred species, you’ll find roses of every color, shape, and form throughout the world. The distinct fragrance, soft overlapping petals and sharp thorns that characterize this flower give it a unique presence that sets it apart from any other plant.
If you’re choosing to grow a rose plant in a container, you’ll want to make sure that the plant can thrive in small spaces. Potted roses can grow up to three feet, but typically remain between 6-24 inches. An ideal temperature for these types of plants is between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit, which is good news for those who want to keep the roses indoors.
Types of Roses
So which type of rose should you grow? Not all roses are suitable for growing in pots, however there are four types that will do especially well when given the proper care. When deciding where to keep your potted roses, keep in mind that indoors is ideal if you live in extreme climates, whereas outdoor growth is best if you’re in a mild climate.
Miniature Roses (Rosa chinensis minima)
These types of roses come in the same variety of colors and forms as long-stemmed roses but have been bred to stay relatively small in size, about 6-36 inches. This is ideal for planting in pots or containers as it eliminates any space issues you may have. They are also stunning to look at due to their delicate petals and striking colors!
Groundcover Roses (Rosa meidrifora)
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance rose to grow, these may be the perfect fit for you. As their name might suggest, groundcover roses are low growing and get no taller than 3 feet. Their sprawling nature creates a beautiful display, especially when they begin to spill over the edges of the container and create a waterfall effect.
Patio Roses (Floribunda)
Also known as a miniature floribunda, Patio roses are compact plants that are perfect for containers. Growing to be about 18-24 inches, they are slightly larger than the standard miniature rose but are still relatively small in size, making it the perfect flower for indoor or outdoor life.
Polyantha Roses (Rosa multiflora)
These sturdy plants grow in clusters and bloom through the season in gorgeous shades of cream, pink and gold. Polyanthas are typically disease-resistant and can last through the wintertime, so if you’re someone who lives in a colder climate these may be a good flower for you to grow.
How to Care for Roses
As beautiful as they are to look at, roses do require a bit of maintenance to ensure they live a long and healthy life. However, following these basic steps will turn you into a rose expert in no time! You can also print off these plant care printables to help keep up your rose care routine.
Sunlight: Roses thrive in the sunlight, so placing your plant in a location that gets at least six to eight hours of sun each day is ideal. Direct sunlight is beneficial for rose growth, however be cautious in the summer months as high temperatures can cause the plant to become dormant.
Water: Be sure to keep the soil moist by watering the plant immediately after it’s been planted. From there, keep checking the soil to make sure it stays damp- if it feels dry, that’s a sign you should re-water. During the summer months, you may need to water them daily due to the hot and drying weather. In cooler times of the year, you may need to water once or twice a week — it all depends on the humidity and temperature of your environment.
Temperature: Ideally, your roses should be kept in an environment between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. As winter approaches, it’s important to keep in mind that container roses are more susceptible to colder weather than ground plants. To keep your roses healthy and safe, be sure to mulch the base to provide better insulation.
Toxicity: There’s no evidence that rose plants are toxic to pets. However, they may cause gastrointestinal discomfort and flowers treated with certain garden products or insecticides could be harmful if ingested. Also, be aware that rose thorns can cause cuts and scratches to your furry friend — so it’s best to keep curious paws away from your rose plant.
Pests & Problems
Pests: Many plants fall victim to a common insect known as the aphid, which are tiny bugs that drain out the moisture from your plants’ leaves. Roses are no exception even if they are indoors, which is why you should frequently inspect the plant. If you do find that your potted rose has an aphid infestation, you can spray them off with a bottle of water.
Problems: The most common problems potted roses face are fungal diseases, including powdery mildew and black spot. To avoid this, be sure your roses have good air circulation by spacing plants three feet apart and keeping them near a window.
Repotting & Propagation
Repotting: If you’re worried about frequently repotting your roses, don’t fret! Most roses only need to be repotted every two or three years. Some clues that your plant might be due for a new pot include yellowing leaves or wilting petals. However, if you’ve noticed your rose has outgrown it’s container, that’s a sign to change the pot. When doing so, It’s best to use a rich mixture of soil to keep the nutrient levels high.
Propagation: In order to properly propagate a rose plant, be sure to poke a small hole with a pencil or finger in at least 6 inches of potting soil. From there, insert the stem and pack the soil firmly so your flower has a good base to grow in.
Taking care of potted roses can be difficult for some, especially if you’re a first-time plant owner. Check out our quick answers to frequently asked questions about roses.
How Do You Maintain a Rose Plant?
In order to ensure the healthy growth of your plant, you’ve got to cover the basics. Give your potted rose at least six hours of sunlight each day. To determine how much water you should give your rose plant, check the soil with your finger — it should always have a moist consistency.
Do Roses like Sun or Shade?
Most potted roses need at least six to eight hours of sunlight each day in order to thrive. Direct sunlight is best, but if your plant is in partial shade it’ll continue to grow, just at a slower rate.
How Long Do Potted Roses Last?
Container roses can last between two to three years, then will require repotting so they can keep growing with fresh soil. If your plant has outgrown its pot, be sure to buy a new one with drainage holes! See additional estimates on how long roses last to get a better idea of the lifespan for your flowers.
How To Care For Miniature Roses?
Miniature roses need direct sun and consistently moist soil. It’s best to keep the plant in 70 degrees Fahrenheit and away from any heat sources. Check on your plant frequently and take out any dead growth or pests that could threaten its health.
How Often Should You Feed Roses?
When your plant is blooming make sure you water regularly and feed with a liquid fertilizer (generic fertilizer will do the trick). Apply the fertilizer every two weeks during the summer and fall months for optimal growth.
Rose Bouquet Care Tips
Let’s not forget about bouquets! Whether you get roses as a gift or you decide to treat yourself, there are a few tips you should keep in mind when learning how to keep your fresh cut roses alive.
Your roses should be accompanied by two packets of floral food and instructions on caring for the flowers. Follow the instructions below (as well as the ones provided with your bouquet) and your roses should bloom and flourish.
- Carefully unwrap the protective plastic liner over the top of your bouquet.
- Remove the outside guard petals. These rugged outer petals are typically left on to protect your roses during shipment.
- At an angle, cut one inch off of the stems under running water. When the stems are cut, it opens up the flower’s pores and allows them to drink water (the angle makes it easier for the stem to absorb the water).
- Strip excess foliage off of stems that will fall below the water level. This excess foliage can muddy up water, or it can suck up too much water, leaving less for the actual blossoms.
- Fill the vase with room temperature water and mix it with one packet of flower food.
- Re-cut stems, change the water and add a second packet of flower food on day three or when the water starts turning yellow and cloudy. If the water starts to change colors, this means that bacteria is growing in it, which will cause the flowers to wilt faster.
- For the longest life, keep your roses away from direct sunlight, heat sources and drafts. The flowers will last longer if they live in a room that has a cool temperature.
Whether you prefer fresh-cut flowers or a beautiful potted rose, they’re both a great way to add a light fragrance and brighten up your space. Once you get the basic tips down and establish your plant care routine, it should be smooth sailing. Now that you’re ready to choose a rose for your space, feel free to check out the different rose color meanings to find the color that speaks best to you!