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Avatar for jpjhooper
Apr 11, 2019 10:14 PM CST
Thread OP
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
Hello all!! First post here and a want to have an amazing rose garden on my ......balcony :o
I have a couple of established (2 to 3 year old) roses in small pots. I am going to upgrade to taller, deeper pots so they can take off a bit and keep the dog from eating the dirt after I fertilize.
I want to get a climber to go around the windows between the chairs and then add 1 more to the collection in front of the railing.
The constant stunt to the plants seems to be, aphids (easy enough to get rid of) tiny little worms that just bore holes in the leaves and what I believe to be rust (small orange dots also ruining the leaves) but I am not sure on that last one. Nothing really debilitating to the plant itself, just unsightly. I have tried neem spray but those buggers are back the next week. I try to be careful with spray as to not overdue the application to the plants and the environment around us.
I plan to transplant 3 and refresh 1 so my question is is there a soil blend that anyone loves for containers (that does not already come with bugs) or perhaps a mix of soil and compost that has worked well for you with potting them?
I have 2 new plants on the way so I will be starting those out also. Any help is much appreciated.
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Apr 11, 2019 11:24 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier

My go-to is Miracle Grow Potting Soil. Don't buy moisture control though.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Apr 12, 2019 12:49 PM CST
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
Group hug Welcome!
So great to get another member!
Yes, bigger pots will also mean you don't have to repot as often. These are the size that I use. You can get size perspective by looking at the hose.

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The orange spots are rust. They're not good. Rust can spread quickly. I only get about 1 or 2 leaves with rust/ I just pick those off and throw them in the garbage. Other people can tell you more than I can on this matter. The little worms are easy to get rid of...they're sawfly larvae...just fold the leaf over the larvae and squish. They hide on the underside of the as soon as you see a hole, turn the leaf over and look for a wormy thing. Then fold and squish. In my neck of the woods...chemicals aren't necessary...just fold and squish.

As to the aphids...take your fingers along the canes/leaf stems and squish. Gross at first...but after you've done this lots of get used to it. That's all I chemicals are necessary here.

For soil...I'm I'm not really the one to ask as I'm not sure yet what my results are.
Here is what I'm experimenting with for the pots...making holes.

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Here is something that explains it a bit:

Good luck, and I can't wait to see your roses!!
Apr 12, 2019 4:09 PM CST
Zone 9, Sunset Zone 9 (Zone 9b)
Well, I had a long response to you but accidentally deleted it. So, here we go again. I have grown roses in pots for the past 25 years or so. Several of those years were in an upstairs balcony in an apartment. You are in either USDA hardiness Zone 10 a or 10 b depending on where you live in Rancho Santa Margarita. Your roses will grow all year round so you will need to force them into dormancy during the winter to give them a rest. Your roses as a result of where you live, will want to grow big.

Potting soil--if you can get to Roger's Gardens, I found their potting soil to be the best I have ever used. Given the size of your balcony, I don't recommend you make your own as you just don't have the storage space to do so. That space can be taken up by plants instead!

Does your patio face south, west, east? Roses need at least 6--8 hours of direct sun per day to grow. They also need root depth in your pots. I grow my roses in resin pots (weight is always an issue on an upstairs balcony). I use a minimum of a 24 inch in diameter pot with at least 20--24 inches of root depth or more if you can get it. If you choose to grow mini roses, you can get away with a smaller pot. I also see that you have an open balcony railing as well. I covered mine with shade cloth to help keep my pots cooler in the summertime when the sun would shine directly on my pots for several hours a day. Plants in pots dry out quicker than ones in the ground and you don't want your roots in the pots baking in the sun all day.

Watering--Do you have a neighbor underneath you? They may not appreciate your watering if the water runs down in their patio area. Just something to consider to keep peace with your neighbors below you. I don't know if you have a water spigot on your balcony or not. I didn't. So I used the adapter for filling a water bed, (you can get one at any local hardware store), attached it to my kitchen sink and then ran a hose (with no holes in it) through the kitchen and dining room, out to the balcony in order to use a hose to water. That was much easier than carrying a heavy watering can to and from the kitchen sink out to my balcony.

I have never grown a "regular sized" rose that was a climber in a pot. Roses do not have tendrils that will grab something and hang on, so you will need to have a trellis or something that you can physically attach the canes to, in order to have it go over your sliding glass door. You won't be able to have your umbrella up as you will need to have those canes get 8 hours of sun per day. If you choose a regular climber, you will probably need an even bigger pot than the size I recommended. I am not sure you have the space for that looking at your picture, but pictures can be deceiving. There are mini rose climbers that will grow to some height so that might work better or just don't have a climbing rose and a nice big bushy one instead.

So, welcome to the group and please continue to show us pictures of your balcony garden!
Apr 12, 2019 5:46 PM CST
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Garden Photography Region: Michigan Roses
Welcome,Jp! Rose balcony garden looks beautiful!

The bigger the pot the better. The roses need lots of root room to support healthy top growth. Put them up on pot trolleys to make them more manageable and for better drainage.

Any good quality potting soil will work. I agree with Daisy about the moisture crystals. They tend to withhold the moisture from the rose. I would also stay away from clay or ceramic pots for the same reason. You also want to keep the pot colors light. They stay cooler in high heat. In California that can be a problem.
Apr 12, 2019 6:17 PM CST
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
Mustbnuts - that was a lot of great information!
Apr 12, 2019 8:27 PM CST
Zone 9, Sunset Zone 9 (Zone 9b)
Thanks Carol. Years of experience talking. Smiling
Apr 12, 2019 9:57 PM CST
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Garden Photography Region: Michigan Roses
I have grown several climbers in pots. I did put those small free standing trellises in the pots to help support them. And eventually I had to plant them to let them get any real size. Also if you really want them to get big and climb over that window I'm not sure you could do that in a pot. You also need to know that anything you use to tie them to has to be really REALLY strong or the weight of the rose will take it down. Think about the weight of the rose canes themselves. Then the weight of a full bloom. Then add all the water weight that the blooms will hold when it rains. That's a LOT of weight!
Avatar for jpjhooper
Apr 13, 2019 12:19 PM CST
Thread OP
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
Thanks for all the great info! The balcony gets all day sun. The umbrella tilts so I aim it away from the plants so they can get sun.
I do have a hose on the balcony and no neighbors below so its all good for watering.
I will try to swing by Rogers Gardens and check out their soil. Every bag I have bought of pre made seems to com with its own set of gnats, extremely annoying.
Avatar for Calsurf73
Apr 14, 2019 9:39 AM CST
Name: Mike
Long Beach, Ca.
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Roses Hummingbirder Farmer Daylilies
Birds Cat Lover Region: California Bulbs Butterflies Garden Ideas: Level 1
In the original photo you posted at the top of the thread there is a bag of "garden soil" off in the corner of your balcony.
Contrary to how it is labeled, the content in that bag is not "soil " at all, and shouldn't be labeled as such. All it is, is composted coarse organic matter, which in and of itself is fine as a soil "amendment" for such things as clay soil in the garden to improve drainage, increase aeration, and reduce soil compaction.
I use the exact same product as an " amendment " but not as a medium to directly fill raised beds, pots, etc. because it isn't "soil".
The fact that it is labeled and marketed as soil is misleading and deceptive to the consumer. It IS however, the best "bang for your buck" if you want a good coarse amendment in a large quantity.

That being said, I hope you aren't using it as "potting soil" for your roses or other plants because by it's very nature, it doesn't hold water very well, and lacks nutrients. Again, as an amendment to ground soil it's excellent for heavy clay soil and will break down over time and aid in creating good soil structure.

See what the people at Rogers Gardens recommend as a good potting "soil".
Avatar for jpjhooper
Apr 15, 2019 6:29 AM CST
Thread OP
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
That was not the soil I used, it was an amendment. Thats the grind about it. In order to make your own, the bags are gigantic and I dont need all of that.
Apr 15, 2019 12:39 PM CST
Name: Shyam
San Francisco, CA (Zone 10b)
@jpjhooper: Welcome!

I second all the valuable suggestions mentioned on this thread so far. The only advice I would make is for the potting soil. In my personal experience of potting soil, I found FoxFarm potting soil ( beneficial to the roses. Then my local nursery recommended Recipe 420 potting soil.
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The roses went crazy over it! I have not used another potting soil since then; if you could get your hands on Recipe 420, great! If not, FoxFarm will do wonders for the container roses.
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