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Potting bare root roses

SophieKSophieK Posts: 244

I am new to roses (among many others). I have ordered 3 bare root roses from David Austin (Desdemona, Tuscan Superb, and Scepter' d Isle), which should be delivered at the end of the month. I am humming and ahhing about planting them in the ground or in pots - if the latter what size (width and depth) would you recommend?

Thank you for your advice.


  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507

    I assume the roses you have chosen are suitable for pots. I do prefer to plant in the soil as they need less watering but then I'm lazy!
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,511
    Tuscany superb is one really not suited to a pot, apart from to grow it on for a couple of years perhaps, before planting it out in the garden, but better to plant it in the ground straightaway and give it plenty of space - if happy, it can get quite large! It’s a Gallica, an old heritage variety (not actually a DA rose, just sold by them). You don’t prune it much, not how you would your other two, as it’s a once-blooming type, not a repeat flowerer. Just a light tidy up prune after flowering has finished at the end of the summer.

    For permanent life in a pot, go as large as you can find/afford, minimum 50cmx50cm, but you can start them off in much smaller pots until you decide what to do. Bear in mind that in a pot, you need a weighty soil/potting mix, not just ordinary compost. Plus you need to feed and water much more regularly. Unless you have no other option or want them in pots to frame a doorway etc., if you can plant them in the ground it’s easier, as K67 says. Lots of us on the New Rose Season thread have roses in pots tho, so do feel free to pop in there and ask advice anytime and to share photos of your new roses 😊 
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • SophieKSophieK Posts: 244
    Thank you @K67 and @Nollie. I hear you, planting straight in the soil seems to be best. I just have to find the right spot for them as my border space is limited (because my husband does not want me to invade his vast lawn, grrrr). But if I can't find the ideal place, I am mindful of space but also light requirements, I will opt for as large a pot as I can (I am not lazy with the feeding and watering). Thank you again for your responses
  • Bright starBright star Posts: 1,153
    Scepter’d Isle is quite a tall Rose when mature so I would plant that in the ground, it’s a stunning Rose with gorgeous scent, Desdemona is a smaller rose and would be suitable for a pot, another beautiful rose that smells divine, 2 of my favourite roses. 
    Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

  • roshnimistry1roshnimistry1 Posts: 17
    edited January 2021
    From what I understand it's ok to put them in large pots, ideally with the aim to get them in the ground when you can. 

    I'm relatively new to gardening and excitedly ordered 4 DA roses...we tried to look for ones that were suitable for pots. We're only putting them in pots temporarily as we're hoping to get the patio etc done in our garden soon, so after that's done we can get them in the ground properly.

    I chose quite large pots, and made sure to add John Innes so that they had some soil at least. I also used the mycorrhizal fungi that you can buy at the same time to help the rose establish better :)

    I checked the other day and the leaf buds are growing happily on ours, so from my experience there is nothing wrong with planting them in pots (just worth checking on the DA site the ones that are suitable for that)
  • SophieKSophieK Posts: 244
    I have to say I did not check the "suitable for pots" option when I ordered because I was so focussed on scent (the more the better), perhaps I should have considering my current conundrum (live and learn). I have another 10 days or so before delivery to find/figure out/make space in my borders, otherwise it will have to be large pots until another shrub gives up the ghost, which will most likely happen as I am a gardening beginner and won't avoid losses despite my best efforts.
  • You do need large pots for roses and even then they are not happy for long in a pot—say five years. However, what they do in French rose gardens is to twine all their roses tightly around short obelisks, with the new canes about 15cm apart all the way up. You need to remove the ties after flowering each year, and cut out the old growth, tie in the new, feed and mulch. Then off they go again. For repeat flowerers you would do this in Feb or March, for old roses like ‘Tuscany Superb’ once the flowers have gone. This at least restrains their spread, and also induces more flowers because you’re bending the stems. [insert complicated explanation here]. 
  • Lawns look so much better with sharp defining edges. Could you not lend a hand by edging your border and (cough) extend it ever so slightly at the same time? Done with caution you might get away with it :)
  • SophieKSophieK Posts: 244
    @Cambridgerose12 That would definitely be an option, and being French I am familiar with the look, but I am far too much of a gardening novice to attempt something so sophisticated. I am ogling my various beds to see where I could accommodate the new roses shrubs and keep my pots for better suited plants.

    @Buttercupdays Hahaha I like your thinking  :D 
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 8,629
    ..just to say, if you're potting up bare root roses on a temporary basis, that is, you aim to plant them out this Spring/summer... then you should put them in small pots until they've fully rooted in, then plant out or repot into large pots, as potted roses from late May onwards...  like these below in 4 ltr pots..

    East Anglia, England
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