Apothecory Rose in a Container
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Janee Rudolph
Posted on: January 20, 2008

I’m enamored with the apothecary rose, but I can only grow in containers (no yard, yeah urban living!) is it suitable for that? if so, what can I do to give it the most optimal conditions?

Apothecary rose is an old fashioned variety going back to before the 1300s. It is not bred for compactness so it would need a large container, such as a barrel. Fill the container with a good outdoor container mix, one with excellent drainage and with some compost blended in for a good starter supply of nutrients. You will have to feed eventually either by applying granular fertilizer or well-rotted manure to the soil surface or by feeding liquid fertilizer, but you must take care not to apply too much nitrogen otherwise you will get lots of foliage and few flowers. Precisely how much and when is something that you will have to work out as we have no experience growing this rose in containers.

One problem you may encounter is winterkill. Because the root zone is above the ground it is more exposed to the alternating freezing and thawing that occurs in late winter and early spring. If plants die over winter, this period is when most plants actually die. How much of a risk this is depends on your local conditions. In general if you are in zones 4-7 you can expect problems with winterkill due to the root zone exposure.

Even despite the challenges, the thrill of success in getting this rose to thrive in a container outdoors is I think worth trying for. Please let us know how you make out.

For more information, her is a link to our rose planting instructions:


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