roses in pots

canadian_rose(zone 3a)April 16, 2013

Well, my roses in pots in the garage are nice and green and look very happy :)

I've always cut back my roses to about 1 foot or 1 1/2 feet in the spring. Do you think a light pruning might be better? My roses are hybrid teas in large pots. I have about 50.

The rose canes are about 2 to 3 feet high. Can I leave them that height and just do some very minimal pruning or would it be better to take them down to about 1 foot?


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runswithscissors(MT 4/5)

I have alot of roses too, Carol, but all of my roses like different things. It it took me several years to figure who likes what. Some I prune hard before winter-bedtime. Others I prune hard after spring growth in order to remove dead stems and to shape...and a few I prune very little, ever, because they are fairly tame. With hardy roses, prune away, anytime to keep them tidy. So I can't really answer your question specifically. Personally, I prune lower rather than higher, because I don't like naked ankles, especially in pots.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 12:11AM
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Hi Carol. I am interested to hear how your roses in pots do in the garage. Does your garage freeze or is it insulated? I have a terrible time with roses and would like to try this. My garage isn't insulated and does freeze during the winter the odd time. But outside the winter winds are wild out here in the country and my roses always die back to the ground or don't survive at all. I really don't have a good place for them but if they were in pots I wouldn't have to worry about the winter exposure anyways.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 7:12PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Thanks runswithscissors (cute name) I read something in a book that helps me with my problem. :) Don't you just love roses!!!

Debbie - Yes, my garage is insulated. I'm trying to think of a good plan for you.
- First of all you would need large pots to insulate your roots the best. I use the largest plastic Cosco pots
- Can you get hay bales since you're out in the country? This could help insulate the roses. If you have just a few roses you could box the roses with hay bales in the garage.
- If not, can you get sleeping bags or some other really thick covering?

Here's what I do - and I get no die back on my canes.

1. Let the roses go through some mild freezes.
2. Water roses really, really well.
3. Take all the leaves off by cutting them off as they join the cane.
4. Place the roses in the garage on top of wood flooring slats. Keeps them away from the cold of the concrete floor.
5. Cover the roses with layer after layer of fabric i.e. jute, flannel sheets, cardboard, etc. Roses nearest the door get even more (mattress cover, etc.)
6. After December I water 1 cup of water every month.
7. Early spring new growth might start to grow - break off new growth.
8. Don't take them out too early unless you can take them all in and out every night.

Make sure that before they go inside the garage that you top up the rose pot with soil. Plus you should bury the graft substantially since your garage isn't insulated.

If you can't get bales of hay then you could try thick styrofoam. However, you must leave room for the roses to breath.

If you have tons of money :) you could try an overhead natural gas heater to help with your uninsulated garage.-

Do not prune your roses before they go in the garage. The extra length of canes will help hold the coverings up and allow for extra room for air flow.

If I were you I would also get lots of cardboard (Costco) and layer all over the roses. You could get pop bottle in large garbage bags and put them in front of the roses for more insulation. Be creative. :) But make sure your coverings are very thick with good insulating properties. Maybe you even have sleeping bags, old winter coats,

Also make sure that your thickest insulation goes on the garage side of the roses.

I lost many roses before I figured it all out. You can experiment and see what works.

Good luck! If you have any more questions, just ask.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 10:01PM
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sheryl_ontario(Muncho Lake, BC z2)

Here is what I do with climbing roses in the ground.
I don't allow the long canes to twine through things. I just tie them to the front so I can untie them and lay them on the ground to be covered in the fall. Lay all the canes down on the ground and cover them with burlap, keep down with fist sized rocks, and pile a few feet of the fall garden trim on top of the burlap. Also cover the base. Cover any above ground growth with cardboard box and fill with leaves, grass and other natural insulators cut in the fall. Can also surround box with straw bales. This usually works for me.

This year I will be trying them in pots. Thanks for the info Carol!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 1:44PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

What zone do you go up to with your climbers?
I can't really plant tender climbers because my yard has glacial till everywhere - so digging takes a bobcat which I don't want to do. But I'm curious as to how tender your tender climbers are.

You're welcome for the info. If I can save anyone the trial and error I went through that's great. :)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 1:35PM
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Thanks for the help Carol. I will have to think about this for a while. I do have hay so that would be easy. That's if we make more than we did last year with the drought we had. I might try it with a few next fall and see what happens.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 10:05PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

That's a good way to go - use your intuition and try it on a few roses.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 12:34AM
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I was just curious how hardy are the roses you are wintering in the garage? Are they zone 3 , or can you push the zones if you winter them like this?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 3:17PM
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Yes, you can pretty well grow any non-hardy rose this way. Some respond better to pots than others though.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 12:36PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

My roses go up to zone 7.
Here's a list

Big Purple
Queen of Sweden
Gina Lollobrigida
Julia Child
Double Delight
Betty White
Perfume Delight
Julio Iglesias
Barbra Streisand
Nicole Carol Miller
Chicago Peace
Peter Mayle
Rock & Roll
Night Owl
Enchanted Evening
Frederic Mistral
All American Magic
Paradise Found
Mr. Lincoln
Royal Kate
Just Joey
Royal Amethyst
Abraham Darby
A Shropshire Lad
Pink Peace
Memorial Day
New Zealand
Mother of Pearl
Chrysler Imperial
Crown Princess Margareta
Good Life
Charles Austin

I've had them in the large Cosco pots for 4 summers. This year I am going to take some of them out of the pots (there are about 3 that have shown a bit of a slow down in bloom abundance last year) and trim the roots and add new soil.

I fertilize with Kelp, worm compost and worm compost tea (twice weekly), once a month with 20-20-20 and use alfalfa pellets in the spring and once a month mixed in my big wheelbarrow with water.

I'll post a few pictures of my roses in pots.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 1:11PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Here's Valencia

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 1:29PM
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Thank you for all the info, this is so exciting to find out I can grow some of these roses not in my zone! Thank you for the info also about what you use to fertilize and water with. With your experts advice I should be off to a good start. Where would I find the alfalfa and kelp? At Home Depot or maybe at a garden center? What a beautiful picture of Valencia yes I must put that on my list. I have really enjoyed looking at the roses on your list Canadien rose, must have some of them also, but how do you choose they are all so beautiful.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 4:46PM
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