What Is a Patio Rose?

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Posted on 05/01/2022


A patio rose can be used as a general term for any rose grown in a container. Almost any rose can fit in that definition — even a climbing rose. More often than not, a patio rose refers to a cross between a floribunda rose and a miniature rose. Patio roses continuously bloom on a miniature sized rose bush. 

Another variation of the patio rose is the tree rose. The ever-popular tree rose is easily planted and enjoyed when it’s flanking each side of the entry to your home or lining the driveway or garden path. A tree rose is different from the usual rose because of where the graft occurs

Instead of being at ground level, the graft will be on a single “trunk” formed from the root stock. The standard height of these grafts is at 36 inches, but they are also available with the graft at 24 inches. Tree roses are also usually grown in containers but can be planted in the ground.

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Choosing the Right Type of Container

Growing roses in containers is different than growing in the ground. There is no reason you can’t be successful growing roses in containers if you meet their special needs. Growing patio roses or tree roses opens the door to a rose garden for people who have limited space in their yard or live in an apartment where container gardening is the only option.

The container needs to be large enough to accommodate the root system. Roses are heavy feeders and have a larger root system than the typical annual plants commonly used for container gardens. 

Also, keep in mind that roses planted in the ground have their roots kept cool by the earth surrounding them. In a container, the volume of the pot is important to keep the roots from overheating.

garden pot of pink roses


Avoid using a pot that is a dark color. A dark pot will absorb heat, while a lighter colored pot will reflect heat. Make sure your container has plenty of drainage holes to allow excess water to drain. Soggy soil will promote root rot, so if there are no or not enough drainage holes, simply drill more with a power drill.

Soil to Use in Your Containers

Do not use garden soil or topsoil in your containers. It is too heavy and will make it more difficult for the plants to absorb water or nutrients. Instead, use a high-quality potting soil or potting mix. 

Amend your potting mix with a generous amount of compost and add some perlite for improved drainage.

Choosing the Location for Your Containers

Place your container in an area where the rose will receive a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day. If it is possible, the ideal location will be with its “head in the sun and its feet in the shade,” as we gardeners love to say. 

In other words, the container is shaded while the plant itself is in the sun, such as next to a low fence. This is especially important in warmer climates where too much sun can overheat the container and stress the roots of your patio rose.

Your container roses will need to be moved into an unheated garage to protect the roots from freezing, but still allowing the rose to go dormant in the winter.

How to Water in a Container

Check for the need to water by putting your finger into the soil. If it feels dry in the top inch of potting mix, water thoroughly. Add water until the water drains out of the holes in the bottom of the pot. 

flowers and plants in a garden

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If the pot is extremely dry, the potting mix can shrink enough to pull away from the sides of the pot. The water will just run down and out of the pot without being absorbed. Water slowly to give it time to be absorbed. 

When it no longer bubbles into the soil and the water is slowly draining from the pot, you will know the water has been absorbed into the soil mix and is available for the rose. 

Fertilizing Your Patio Roses 

As mentioned earlier, roses are heavy feeders. Additionally, much of the nutrients can be washed out of the soil when watering frequently and so you may need to add additional fertilizer throughout the growing season. 

A container-grown rose will need fertilizer more often than a garden-grown rose. Start by adding a granular slow-release fertilizer into the potting soil when planting your rose in the container. Some rosarians like to add some bone meal as well. 

Throughout the season, you can add an additional liquid fertilizer made for roses every four to six weeks or add a diluted liquid rose fertilizer every week, whichever is easier to remember.

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To Prune or Not to Prune?

Container and tree roses need very little pruning. Prune any dead or damaged branches as well as any that are crossing each other. Otherwise, most of your pruning will be to maintain the desired shape of your rose.

green courtyard rose tree


Patio roses are the perfect choice for the gardener with limited space or to add beauty to your hardscape, driveway or garden path. With proper care, your patio roses should thrive for many years to come.