General gardening topics

8 of the best roses for pots and containers

Last updated on January 21st, 2020

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If you have a small area like a patio, balcony, or terrace and you want to grow roses, rest assured there are plenty of varieties that thrive in pots and containers. The key to their success is to find a variety that is smaller inside, match it to the existing space you have, and find a pot or container that is the appropriate depth for the root system.

Finding the Container

Most roses you grow in pots and containers can grow upwards of 45-60cm high if the container is 60cm. So, you should have a container that is at least 60 centimetres in size to accommodate the roots as they tend to have deep root systems. That said you can choose to grow a single rose bush in a single pot, or a few rose bushes in a larger container. If you are growing more than one, keep them 45cm apart so that you can enjoy the natural, bushy shape without cutting off the air circulation so a longer trough is better for this.

The container material should be something heavy especially if you are growing a larger variety. Remember that roses in pots or containers will still grow quite tall and need to be protected from the wind. If you choose a thin plastic material for the container it is more likely to be blown over.

Choosing the right compost

Inside the container, you should use a mixture of potting compost suitable for roses specifically, most garden centres and nurseries will sell this but you can also buy rose compost online. Fertilizer can be added when you plant the Roses, right after pruning, and again in summer after the first flush of flowers. 


On the note of pruning, whichever of these 8 varieties you choose you should prune them the same as you would other plants, getting rid of any dead or disease would immediately, removing suckers, cutting back any growth that is rubbing across other branches or otherwise inhibiting the overall shape. You can also deadhead the spent flowers after the first flush in order to encourage a second flush of roses. 

Most patio roses live between 5 and 7 years in containers, so once your patio Rose has reached its prime, you would do well to replace it with another one of the options on this list.

Below are the 8 best varieties for your container:

Patio Rose ‘Letchworth Centenary’

This bush has peachy pink flowers that produce a Musky smell. They grow in rounded, bushy forms. The height and spread are often equal in size, averaging 60cm at full maturity.

Patio Rose ‘Happy Days’

If you want semi-double flowers, this is a great variety to choose from. They are beautiful and they grow in a single, dense mound that is slightly bigger. At full maturity, it reaches a height around 60cm with a full spread around 80cm.

Patio Rose ‘The Queen’s London Child’

If you are more interested in scent, this is the one to choose. It is the most highly scented patio Rose out there. It has a great structure with large flowers. It reaches Heights of 60cm with spreads of 40cm.

Floribunda Rose ‘Red Hat Lady’

For something less heavily scented, pick the red hat lady floribunda rose. These flowers are very lightly scented and they produce dense carpets of flowers offset by the cute bushy shape. If you continue to feed it throughout the season it will reflower regularly so you don’t just get one flush. At full maturity, it reaches a height of 60cm and a spread of 50cm.

Ground Cover Rose ‘Suffolk’

This is a repeat flowering rose bush which, if you deadhead and fertilize properly will continue to produce regular flowers throughout the spring and summer. The flowers start off with a scarlet colour which gives way to orange-red hips, giving something visually appealing all the way into the winter season. As they are really a ground cover rose they tend to trail over pots.

English Shrub Rose ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’

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If you like blooms that are unique in colour, this offers a coppery shade that is quite unusual. The leaves also stand out in their dark bronze colour. The scent is that of a fruit tree so it gives you a slightly different appeal compared to the traditional musk of roses.

Procumbent Rose ‘Flower Carpet Coral’

This variety is named aptly as the flowers are rich with coral pink colours and look like a large carpet. They are big flowers in size, single flowers that attract pollinators like bees very well.

Rosa ‘Gertrude Jekyll’

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Finally, if you want something classic, these are the varieties to choose. This variety gives you those classic rosebuds that open up to the perfect Rose. The scent is the quintessential rose smell, very exquisite, and perfect for a small seating area.

Rest assured, no matter which of these you choose, you can enjoy something beautiful year after year and once the flowers have lived out their lifespan, you can pick another variety from this list to replace them.

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at

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