Roses forum: A lousy year for my roses . . .

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Name: Patrick
Toms River, New Jersey (Zone 7a)
Dog Lover Irises Orchids Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Lilies
Aug 5, 2015 4:33 AM CST
I have always been a "Container gardener" type of Rose gardener.
I've lived in apartments with balconies for most of my adult life.
However, now I live in a home with a yard, but still opted for planting
my Roses in containers. This year my 2 rose bushes - Firefighter and Queen Elizabeth - did not perform very well at all. The flowers on both plants were quite small and I don't know what would have caused that. The flowers were the size of a Floribunda, and certainly not the size of a Hybrid Tea or Grandiflora.
Name: Suzanne
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Region: California Plant Database Moderator Roses Irises Clematis Garden Photography
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Aug 5, 2015 9:02 AM CST


When I was growing roses in pots, they always seemed smaller, stunted, as soon as I got them in the ground, they took off, living to their full potential. Now I only grow mini roses in pots.
When was the last time you renewed their potting soil? Added fertilizer? Could they be root bound?
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Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Aug 5, 2015 10:15 AM CST
I agree with Suzanne. When I started my rose life, I lived in a condo and had to grow all of my roses in containers. The roses were healthy and productive and I thought they were doing quite well.

One of the roses I was growing was 'Timeless'. I loved that rose. One day, while working on a rescue project on the Naval base that was closed in San Diego, I saw a red rose that was stunning way across the park. I had to go and look at it. The rose was 'Timeless'. It was larger and fuller and looked like a completely different rose than the plant I was growing. That was my first hint that not all roses will reach their potential in containers.

Over the years, I've found this to be true for even some smaller roses. 'The rose 'Kim Rupert' always looked like a dawg when I was growing it in a large container, but I planted it in the ground because it was named after my rose mentor. That rose, even tho' it is smaller than most HTs, just took off and is now a beautiful plant. The rose has a spreading habit and when I gave it plenty of room to grow roots, it became a stunning rose.

I now grow only one rose in a container, but it's roots have pushed through the bottom of the pot and are now growing in the ground. It was a pretty rose prior to that, but now it is larger and far more prolific in bloom. I've left it in the container because I would have to butcher it to get it out of the container and replant it. Since the root mass is in the ground, I've decided to leave it alone.

Here's a photo of 'Green Ice'. (An own root plant.) It's been in it's container for 10 years without the soil being changed because the roots are in the ground below the container:

This is my budded 'Firefigher' which is now in it's second season in the ground:

Thumb of 2015-08-05/RoseBlush1/d7a33e

My personal theory is that constricting the roots to fit in a container will impact the rose. You can grow healthy roses in containers, but when you site them where they can develop their roots, you get a better plant.


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Name: Patrick
Toms River, New Jersey (Zone 7a)
Dog Lover Irises Orchids Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Lilies
Aug 5, 2015 10:23 AM CST
A number of years ago, I lived in an apartment complex that had unusually large patio balconies.
I used to grow 7-8 rose bushes in square containers. They all performed magnificently, and I was
the envy of all of my neighbors! I have been very successful in growing Roses in containers.
I just don't know why my 2 rose bushes this year have not done as well. "Firefighter" and "Queen Elizabeth" are outstanding roses - but this year, they both look like small Floribunda's. Confused Thumbs down

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