5 of the best roses for pots

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Karen Murphy shares her favourite roses to grow in containers

1 ‘Ballerina’


An old polyantha rose with clusters of single blossoms. Repeat flowers through summer with a faint scent.
Height and Spread: 1.2m (4ft)
Tel: 01963 359444

Tip: Plant calibrachoa or other trailers around the pot rim for added drama

2 ‘Teasing Georgia’

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Award-winning bush rose with strongly fragrant flowers, opening deep yellow, fading to soft yellow. Repeat flowering.
Height and Spread: 1.2m (4ft)
Tel: 01939 211 900

Tip: In larger containers, it can be encouraged to climb

3 ‘Flower Carpet Red Velvet’

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Reliable ground-cover rose producing continuous display of single red blossoms. Highly disease-resistant.
Height and Spread: 75cm (30in) x 90cm (3ft)
Tel: 01953 454707

Tip: Ideal for use in larger hanging baskets

4 ‘The Fairy’

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Popular compact polyantha rose producing masses of small, double blossoms throughout summer.
Height and Spread: 60cm (2ft) x 1.2m (4ft)
Tel: 01953 454707

Tip: Good for pots placed on pillars

5 ‘Graham Thomas’

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Award-winning upright bushy variety. Deep yellow blossoms have a rich, tea fragrance. Repeat flowering.
Height and Spread: 1.2m (4ft)
Tel: 01902 376300

Tip: Use cosmos ‘Dwarf Sensation White’ as a planting partner

How to plant a rose

1. Choose a day when the ground isn't hard or frozen

2. Before planting, soak bare-root roses in water - ideally for six hours. Water container-grown roses so the soil is not dry.

3. Dig a hole at least 30cm (1ft) deep and twice as wide as the roots, ideally where a rose has not been grown before. If this is not possible, dig a hole at least 45cm (18in) square, discard the soil and replace it with rose-free soil from elsewhere (or good quality potting compost).

4. Add well-rotted organic matter (manure of garden compost) to the hole to give the plant a good start, then add some Rootgrow plant/soil food.

Which should I choose –  bare-root or container grown?

Bare-root roses are cheaper and often grow faster as their roots have been grown in open ground, rather than having been restricted to a container.

  • Karen writes for Garden News magazine which is packed full of tips, inspiration, plant and product news and great money-saving offers! On sale every Tuesday, or subscribe and try your first four issues for just £1. Call 01858 438884 or visit T&Cs apply.