How to care for your patio rose bush
- Hardiness: Fully hardy. Suitable for growing across the UK and Ireland
- Height: Up to 55cm in summer
- Spread: Up to 40cm
- Flowering: Summer until late autumn
- Planting: Throughout autumn, and late winter to early spring
- Ideal for: Pot growing
- Also suitable for: Borders and beds
- Difficulty: Easy
‘Patio’ is a very new rose classification, and as such, the characteristics which define these roses are yet to be set in stone. Generally, a patio rose is a cross between a dwarf floribunda and a miniature rose, resulting in a compact rose bush which grows no higher than 55cm or so. The smaller size of patio rose bushes makes them ideal low maintenance plants, great for smaller gardens and perfect for container growing.
Autumn and early spring are the ideal times to plant your roses, as summer is a key growth time for your plant and the dead of winter can be too harsh for plants to establish properly.
If you receive your rose in summer, we advise that you leave it growing in the container it was delivered in until autumn, and there is more risk of damaging the roots when planting or potting.
If you receive your rose in winter, remove all packaging and make sure the soil is damp. Store your rose in an unheated shed/greenhouse to protect it from frosts until early spring.
When you're ready to repot your patio rose into a new container, ensure you choose a pot that is a minimum of 30cm/13in deep, as roses are long-rooted plants.
Some tips for repotting
-The soil of the rose should be slightly moist. Stand the rose in water for an hour beforehand, or water thoroughly to achieve this.
- Add a drainage layer of stones to the bottom of the new container.
-Create a mix of soil and compost (we recommend John Innes No.3) and if the new container is bigger add some of the mix to the bottom of the pot.
- Loosen the soil around the edge of your rose, then pull the rose out by the base of the main stem.
- Sprinkle some rootgrow mycorrhizal fungus into the pot to encourage healthy roots, insert the rose, and then fill in the mix of soil and compost.
-Water the plant thoroughly with a superthrive solution, and keep the plant well watered for several weeks.
-Every two years, refresh the soil in the container by removing the top few inches and replacing with a fresh layer of compost.
Patio roses can also thrive if planted into beds and borders. Again, it's best to choose a sunny spot that will provide your rose with some shelter from the wind.
An hour before planting your rose, water it thoroughly. Create a mix of soil, compost and organic rose food in a separate container. Dig a hole roughly twice the width of the plants container in the sunniest spot in your garden, somewhere with well draining soil that won't become waterlogged. If the soil is poor quality or clay like, it's advisable to add a layer of compost to the subsoil, then sprinkle some rootgrow mycorrhizal fungus into the planting hole to encourage healthy roots.
Remove the entire rose plant from its container and gently tease out the roots. Prune any that are damaged or broken, then plant the rose with the bud union at ground level. Back fill any gaps with the soil mix you made earlier but don't pack the soil too tightly around the new rose.
Roses have healthy appetites, especially potted roses as they have limited access to nutrients. Feed your plant every spring with a powder or granular rose fertiliser, and again in June or July.
Mulching is the term used for the layer of organic material that's placed on top of the soil around your plants every year, and has a whole host of benefits for both potted and planted roses. The best time to do this is in late spring (April-May) or autumn (October).
If mulching in spring, apply the spring feed if this has not been done, then hoe the ground lightly to mix in. Apply a thin layer of well-rotted manure or good garden compost all around the roses - we suggest using John Innes No. 3.
Roses are deep rooted plants, which means that in some seasons they may not require watering at all. However, the fact they're deep rooted means the plants won’t show signs of drought as quickly as other plants in your garden. Under watering them can lead to impaired growth, so approach with caution! We recommend that you water the base of the plant only, and try to avoid getting water on the leaves, as this will encourage leaf scorch and disease.
We advise you to water your rose regularly until the plant is established, after which the plant will only require watering through spring and summer. When the weather is temperate, water deeply once a week, but in the height of summer, your rose may require water every day.
When patio roses are grown in containers, they will have more restricted access to water than those growing in the garden, so will need watering with greater regularity. As a rule of thumb stick your finger into the first inch of topsoil and if it feels medium dry, water immediately.
Patio roses are a generally low maintenance category of roses. What little pruning they require can be carried out in February or March to encourage better growth in the summer.
Newly planted patio roses, that have been in the ground/container for less than a year require no pruning whatsoever. For older roses, simply cut out dead, dying or brown stems, and shape the bush lightly if required.
This is the process of removing flowers from your plant once they are dying or dead. This will help your rose to redirect its energy into making new flowers. Cut the entire stem including the dead rose away, cutting just before the second or third leaf down.
Patio Roses in Winter
If weather conditions are expected to be extreme, you should provide your rose bushes with some protection. You can use sacking, horticultural fleece or even some bin liners to make sure your bushes don’t get frost damaged. Protect the base of the plant and the bud union by piling extra compost around the stems at the base of the plant. Remove this protection when the worst of the winter frosts have passed.