Roses are one of the most popular flowers in most gardens. Problem is – not everyone has access to a garden to grow roses and a multitude of other flowers.
If you have access to a balcony, odds are you have had some troubles trying to get creative with making it look lively. Sure, you can put potted plants in the corners and furniture everywhere else, but why not spruce it up even more?
Luckily for you, roses are one of the best flowers to grow on a balcony! Roses don’t need a huge amount of space to grow and thrive – all they need is access to sunlight, lots of water, and the occasional dead-heading session!
Here is our guide on how to grow roses on a balcony, which roses to choose, and how to maintain them.
How to grow roses on a balcony
The key to growing roses on a balcony is to find the right container. The type of container you choose will impact the growth of the roses, so it’s important to choose the right materials and features!
Ceramic, wood, terracotta, and plastic are the best materials for a rose garden container. The next key features to look out for include:
Roses love a lot of room to grow, so you can get the largest container you like! The minimum size for a rose container is at least 14-16” in diameter and 18-20” deep.
- Drainage holes:
As with all potted plants, a rose container must have drainage holes. Drainage holes allow for the water to travel through the soil and fall through the holes.
If water pools at the bottom of a container with no drainage holes, this can drown the plants and lead to root rot, which can be irreversible.
For aesthetic reasons, consider how tall you want your roses to be! You can easily elevate the container by placing it on wooden blocks or roses.
Also, a container doesn’t just have to be a regular plant pot! Roses can grow well in window boxes, too – which is ideal for small balconies.
The next step is to choose the right kind of roses, which we will go into further detail in the next section of this guide.
Planting the roses
Here is the fun part – planting the roses!
Once you have chosen the right container and type of roses you want to grow, next you need to find the right kind of soil. The best way to do this is by going to a gardening center or greenhouse.
If you buy random soil from a large store, odds are the soil is filled with pests. Greenhouse soil, however, is filled with the right kind of nutrients for roses to grow and thrive.
Also, make sure to buy peat-free soil! Peat-free soil is ideal for growing roses, plus it’s a very eco-friendly version due to its organic benefits.
Planting a rose in a container is really easy, which is why roses are such a popular flower amongst beginners. Simply fill the pot with soil and plant the roots of the rose several inches below the rim of the container.
Cover the rest of the roots with soil until the soil has reached the top of the container.
Then, water away! Roses like a nice amount of water, so give the soil a good amount of water until the soil is damp.
Where to put roses on a balcony
Now, you need to put the rose in the best place on the balcony. Roses love sunlight as much as they love water, so make sure to put them in an area that receives around 8-9 hours of sunlight a day.
You might find that your roses will lean towards the sunlight. This is normal and can be amended by simply rotating the container so the roses on the other side can be exposed to the sunlight.
Which roses grow best in pots?
Miniature and shrub roses are the best roses to be planted in containers on a balcony. Climbing roses and roses that can grow further than 5 ft tall (yes, they exist) aren’t great for balconies, as they aren’t easy to store away in winter.
While thousands of rose types can thrive well in a container, these are the best varieties for growing in a pot on a balcony:
- Patio roses:
As the name suggests, patio roses are an excellent choice for patios and balconies. Patio roses are bushier and taller than miniature roses, reaching only 2-3 ft tall, and they look stunning.
With dark green leaves and a multitude of color varieties, patio roses are an excellent choice for beginner gardeners with a balcony.
Again, as the name suggests, miniature roses are bred to stay small throughout their lifetime. This is ideal for those with a small balcony, as it means you won’t have to worry about pruning your rose bush.
These roses can grow in any container, from pots to railing planters to hanging baskets. Most miniature roses have smaller versions of standard roses in a variety of colors and types. Plus, these roses are incredibly hardy – especially in winter.
As most people with a balcony live in apartments, this is ideal, because it means you won’t have to worry about storing the rose pot away in the cold months.
And if they do look a bit sad in the winter, these roses grow well indoors, too! Just make sure they have access to sunlight.
Floribunda plants are best for producing a pot filled with color. Each stem can grow up to 25 roses, meaning you can easily create a cluttered yet controlled rose garden on your balcony!
There are so many color varieties to choose from, including red, yellow, white, orange, pink, and lavender.
- Hybrid teas:
Hey, not everyone wants a compact plant with lots of roses. If you like large roses, you have to try growing hybrid tea roses. They don’t flower as much as miniature or floribunda roses, but they do grow large flowers on straight and upright stems.
They can be tall – sometimes even growing up to 6 ft – so this option only applies to those who have the space for a potentially tall flower.
Of course, nothing is stopping you from planting multiple roses to create a super colorful balcony. While it’s not recommended mixing two types of roses in a pot (due to the risk of overcrowding), putting two (or three) kinds of roses in a railing planter can work wonderfully on a balcony.
What is the best month to plant roses?
You can plant roses in a pot whenever you want, but the best time to plant roses is in late spring. The months of April and May are great for growing roses, as this is when the temperature begins to warm, the sun starts to shine more consistently, and there are still sporadic days of rain.
Roses like water and love the sun, which is why this is the best time to kick-start their growing period.
The key is to plant them when they have started to bloom already. This will encourage the buds to bloom even faster, which then means you can dead-head the dead buds to make room for new ones!
How to dead-head a rose bush
When a bloomed flower has begun to die, the nutrients from the soil and the stem will continue to try and feed the already-dead bloom. The best thing to do is to dead-head the dead flowers to allow for the healthy regrowth of new flowers.
To do this, simply pull the dead flowers off! It shouldn’t require too much pulling, so you will know if the flower is dead if it simply falls off when you pull it lightly.
How do you take care of potted roses?
Fortunately, taking care of potted roses is very easy. Roses are notoriously low-maintenance plants – all they need is access to enough sunlight and a good amount of water every day. Deadheading the dead flowers is great for promoting healthy regrowth.
When we say roses like water, it’s better to give them a deep soaking than shallow, frequent watering. This is especially important in the warm summer months.
You can keep the roses outside in the rain, too. Not every balcony will have access to direct rain if it has a balcony on top of it, but don’t worry if rain does reach the rose.
All-purpose fertilizers are good for feeding roses as they promote healthy growth. Roses don’t technically need food to survive, so this is only optional if your rose is struggling with growth.
The best time to feed your roses fertilizer is in the spring months as the plant emerges from dormancy.
Do roses need morning or afternoon sun?
Not all balconies will have access to the sun throughout the day. If you live in an apartment building, odds are your balcony only receives a certain amount of sunlight per day.
Roses need any type of sunlight, but they certainly prefer the morning sun. This is because the sun’s rays aren’t as strong as they are in the afternoon, which can be strong enough to dehydrate or burn the plant in hot climates. Roses like the occasional afternoon shade and water, after all.
However, a bit of afternoon sunlight now and then won’t kill the roses – just make sure to balance it with an appropriate amount of shade!
What flowers grow well on a balcony?
So, now you have your perfect potted rose on your balcony, but you want more. This is the way of life when you realize how easy and rewarding it is to grow and take care of plants and flowers.
Thankfully, you have limited space on a balcony, because people with gardens get so used to growing too many flowers and losing control.
If you want to pot some more plants and flowers so your roses have some friends, you’re in luck – there are so many flowers that grow well on a balcony! Balcony gardens are great fun to build and grow, plus they look amazing.
Here are the other flowers that grow really well on a balcony:
Hydrangeas feature stunning spherical bunches of flowers that vary in colors but mostly come in a white shade. Like roses, hydrangeas love a lot of water.
Not only do marigolds easily brighten up a balcony or garden, but they are one of nature’s best pest repellents. Yes – even if you have plants on a balcony, you will still get pests!
Affectionately known as “mums”, chrysanthemums are the most popular flower after roses due to their stunning color varieties.
Lobelia is a great bushy plant that looks best in hanging baskets. If you want to get extra creative, try planting some other flowers amongst it for a unique arrangement.
Like lobelia, fuchsia looks great in hanging baskets. Plus, these flowers love the shade, which is great for balconies that don’t receive much sunlight.
Not only are they easy to grow, but petunias are one of the most beautiful flowers you can grow on a balcony. They come in a variety of colors and bloom in abundance.
Hostas are low-maintenance perennials that love a lot of shade. These are the types of plants people look at and go “wow, I want one of those”. The foliage can come in a variety of colors and shapes, and they will grow stunning flowers in the warm months.
If you want to turn your balcony into a jungle, you have to get a clematis. Clematis vines are climbers that love to grow up vertical spaces. Just be sure to prune it regularly if you have a balcony above yours, as they won’t stop growing if they are well loved!
So, there you have it! You can grow roses on a balcony. Roses are possibly the easiest flower to grow in a pot or railing planter, and they can brighten up a balcony effortlessly. Happy planting!