If you’re short on space or don’t have room in your borders for roses, why not grow them in pots?
Not all roses are suitable for growing in containers, as they have shallow, spreading roots, but patio roses are perfect.
At the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016, Harkness Roses gave us their tips on caring for patio roses correctly. They advise growing them in good quality soil-based compost or multipurpose compost, keeping them well watered and giving them a liquid feed once a week during the growing season.
They also say that it is best to hard prune patio roses in spring, otherwise they will become leggy. Don’t worry about how you do this – just cut them back hard. This is also a good time to refresh the compost and repot if necessary.
Here are some great varieties to try.
Rosa ‘Letchworth Centenary’
‘Letchworth Centenary’ has beautiful peachy pink flowers with a good musky scent. The plants are bushy and rounded. It reaches a height and spread of 60cm x 60cm.
Deep-pink blooms of Rosa ‘Letchworth Centenary’
Rosa ‘Happy Days’
‘Happy Days’ produces masses of pretty, semi-double flowers and is good at filling a pot. It grows into a dense mound that reaches a height and spread of 60cm x 80cm.
Pinky-yellow flowers of Rosa ‘Happy Days’
Rosa ‘The Queen’s London Child’
‘The Queen’s London Child’ is probably the most highly scented patio rose you’ll find. The flowers are large and it has a great structure. Height and spread 60cm x 40cm.
Large pale-pink flowers of Rosa ‘The Queen’s London Child’
Rosa ‘Red Hat Lady’
The lightly scented, dense blooms of ‘Red Hat Lady’ carpet this bushy plant. Give it plenty of plant food to keep the flowers coming. It reaches a height and spread of 60cm x 50cm.
Bright-red blooms of Rosa ‘Red Hat Lady’
The lifespan of a patio rose
The lifespan of a patio rose is less than other types of rose – around 5-7 years. Once a plant is past its best, replace with a new one.