7 Problems With Roses in Pots and Their Solutions

Raul is an Editor at BalconyGardenWeb and an expert in flower and herb cultivation based in Phoenix, Arizona. A frequent speaker at horticultural events, he is also an active contributor to Facebook flower groups. Holding an MBA degree, Raul blends his gardening skills with strong leadership and analytical abilities.
Learn About Our Editorial Policy

2-Minute Read

Here are some of the most common problems with roses in pots that you can eliminate for good using these tips and tricks!

Who doesn’t love roses, and we all want them to be full of flowers all the time! Sometimes, these plants run into some issues, especially when grown in pots, that can hamper their blooming. Let’s address those issues!

Problems With Roses in Pots and Solutions

1. Root Space and Growth

Problems With Roses in Pots

When grown in the garden, roses have all the the space to grow and expand! However, when grown in pots, the roots have limited space to spread, and this might be a problem if you forget to re-pot these beauties for a long time.

With roses, you have to strike the right balance of pot space in order to make them thrive. A container size of 12-16 inches will be a good starting point, and it will serve the plant well for a few years.

Let it thrive in it, till you see signs of roots emerging on the topsoil, or from the drainage hole at the bottom—this is a simple sign indicating the plant has reached the limit of the pot, and now it is time to re-pot it into a new one.

Do not use a pot that’s more than 1-2 size bigger than the old one (to save it from overwatering woes). Also, use a fresh growing medium with every re-potting.

2. Watering Requirements


Container roses require more frequent watering than garden roses. This is because limited soil volume dries out faster, especially during warmer months. The fluctuations in moisture levels can stress the plant, leading to leaf drop and bud failure.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should end up watering them way too much! Remember, roses HATE overwatering, and the plant will be like the image above with too much moisture.

So, what’s the right method to follow? Simple! Water when the topsoil feels little dry to touch, at about 1/2 an inch deep, which can be once in 2-5 days, depending on the weather and climatic conditions. This way, your roses will be happy, thriving, and BLOOMING!

3. Nutrient Management

Problems With Roses in Pots 3

When roses are grown in containers, the soil can quickly deplete nutrients, as the growing medium is in limited quantity.

The best way to deal with this situation, is to add a handful of manure and compost to the pot every month. Remember to till it thoroughly to support the growth.

You can also go for epsom salt after diluting one tablespoon of it in a gallon of water, and then use it to moisten the growing medium every month. It will promote flowering in a super cool way!

Last, but not the least, use a balanced liquid fertilizer, dilute it to 1/2 of its strength, and use it once in 4-6 weeks. This will give all the boost roses need to grow the best flowers.

4. Sunlight Requirements

When people grow roses in pots, they often keep it at a certain spot and forget about it. Well, you need to refrain doing this, if you are one of those people!

Roses LOVE sunlight, but excessive of it can scorch their leaves, especially if you live in a warm zone. So, what’s the catch? The best location for these beauties is an East or South facing spot.

East facing location allows for direct morning sun exposure, which is mild, making the plant get the right amount of light all day long. With south facing spot, you may have to use curtains to block the direct sunlight in the afternoon.

My pick is any window, balcony, or spot that’s East facing in your home or garden for potted roses, if you want to see them thriving without any worries!

5. Diseases and Pests


The confined space of containers can foster development of diseases like powdery mildew and pests like spider mites, especially if the air circulation is poor.

Aphids and leafhoppers also like to infest roses, and can multiply quickly, causing extensive damage.

Make sure the plant gets proper air circulation. For this, prune criss cross branches and deadhead spent flowers from time to time. Inspect regularly for early signs of infestation or disease and use insecticidal soap is the infestation is too much.

6. Poor Soil Drainage

Problems With Roses in Pots 7

A container doesn’t have the liberty to get proper air circulation to the growing medium, which is why it is extremely important to use a potting mix that drains well.

For growing roses in containers, I would suggest to go for:

  • Three parts garden soil
  • Two parts compost
  • One part coarse sand
  • One part perlite
  • Half part bone meal

Mix all of these well, and you will have the best flowers and healthy plant for sure!

7. The Right Support

While growing climbing varieties in pots, it is important to support them from an early stage using stakes, trellis, or bamboo poles to ensure the stems don’t droop and touch the ground, which can make them catch diseases and other issues.

Supporting will also make the plant look neat, making the flowers stand out!

Recent Posts

Join our 3 Million Followers:


Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here