… That’s the million dollar question.
I’ve never had any inclination to grow roses until an unusual striped variety growing in a friend’s garden, caught my attention. It was love at first sight and I wanted one!
A woman on a mission I went in search of this mystery rose.
Armed with a picture of the rose on my phone, I found a member of staff at a garden centre in Lagos.
‘Do you stock this variety of rose?’ I said, pointing to the picture.’
‘Yes’, said the young man, as he walked ahead while indicating I was to follow.
I was taken to in the furthest corner of the garden centre where there were a few to choose from. Unfortunately, the only one in bloom was the runt of the litter and having been cheated on colour a few months ago with some daisies, I was taking no chances.
Clutching my latest acquisition, and keen to discover the secrets of rose husbandry I proceeded to ask him some further questions.
‘Will this be okay in a pot?’
‘Yes, it’s a Portuguese rose.’
‘What type of soil does it prefer?’
Young man shrugs.
‘Any, it’s a Portuguese Rose.’
Anxious to give the rose the best possible start, I persisted.
‘What about sun. Does it prefer sun or shade?’
Sigh, followed by shrug.
‘Any, it’s a Portuguese rose.’
‘What about watering?’
I did consider asking his advice re feeding then changed my mind as I muttered under by breath: I might as well gone to Lidls for all the help you are.
At this point I should have left without the rose but persuading my husband to stop at yet another garden centre was pushing my luck. And, as the saying goes: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
I bought a bag of compost, paid and left.
Maybe Mr. Google would be more help. Seriously? I am surprised by the difference in advice offered. The most reliable source (in my opinion) seemed to be the rose growers.
Will an Abracadabra rose grow in a Container?
From what I can glean on the internet not all roses grow well in containers. It is advisable to grow miniature, compact ground or climbing roses and dependent on rose, containers should be between a minimum of 9 to 18 inches deep.
Well, so much for the ‘Portuguese rose’ and the shrug. Is it a miniature variety – who knows? According to Rogue Valley Roses the Abracadabra rose appears to be related to the Miniature Hocus Pocus, so fingers crossed.
WHAT Type of soil should I use for container grown roses?
After extensive research, roses growing in containers grow best in a loamy soil. Or sandy, if it is kept well watered. What is a loamy soil you may well ask. From what I can ascertain, loam refers to texture. While it retains moisture it is also free-draining. The most useful definition I found was over at The Spruce
When to Fertilize
As we don’t have frost it seems I start to fertilize when I have four to six inches of new growth and a leaflet with five to seven leaves. I assume that is at the start of the growing season after the rose has been pruned back for the winter. Do I stop fertilizing once the rose is pruned back? Adapting advice, as you can see, is trial and error. *Nope, rewind, apparently that does not apply to miniature roses.
Because roses are greedy the fertiliser in the compost will quickly be depleted within the first month. I’ve also noted that some roses grown in containers require regular feeding with water-soluble fertilizer as well as other forms of fertilizer, while miniature *roses should only be fed water soluble fertilizer.
Roses also require a pH 6.0 to 6.5
Note to self: I need to buy another soil testing kit.
Sun or Shade?
The day after I potted up my new rose we had a heat wave with the temperature soaring to over 40C in the shade. More by luck than judgement I’d positioned the pot in the semi-shade. Then I read that roses require full sun, so once the heat wave was over, I moved it. Then I read elsewhere not ALL roses like full sun.The rule of thumb seems to be 6hrs sun but not mid afternoon sun.
I can only say since moving it is now one unhappy rose and the next strong man to appear in our garden will be bribed with a beer to help me move it to another location.
Three months later it is now one sickly looking rose so the sooner it is moved the better. That will teach me to call it the runt!
It gets watered about three times a week. I use a moisture meter to check moisture levels so I don’t over water.
Now I wonder if that is too much or not enough or if there is adequate drainage.
Maybe there’s hope. I’ve just spotted some new shoots growing, so perhaps all is not lost.
If this rose dies, I will stick to growing hibiscus which seem to flower or year round and are not so needy.
If anyone has any tips on growing roses, PLEASE share in the comment box below.