Breeding roses in pots

I noticed several places which mentioned they had their breeding roses in pots. Is a 5 gallon pot big enough?



Many of my breeding plants are in pots in a 20 X 50 foot greenhouse. Miniatures go in large “egg cans” as they are referred to in Steuber’s catalog. (About 12" across the rim and about 15" deep) The full-sized shrubs (‘Lilian Austin’, ‘Abraham Darby’, “0-47-19”) are all in much larger containers; mostly 22" diameter and 20" to 24" deep. I consider these sizes to be the minimum container size to sustain a plant indefinitely. Otherwise you will be watering four times a day and fertilizing constantly just to keep the plants alive. (Opinions may vary)


I have found breeding on roses in pots has the benefit of being able to bring the plants inside if the hips have not ripened by the time the frosts are expected or in case of hail, other damaging weather or wildlife that will eat the hips. I have also found that any plant will grow to fit the container it is in. The larger roses can be kept in relatively small pots but will not reach their full potential in size. They will however, still flower and set hips. As Paul has said, the large plants will need watering more frequently but if you run them on the dry side, they adjust to the lesser amount of water. By using a lesser amount of fertilizer, the plants won’t try to outgrow the container as quickly. Eventually the larger varieties in the smaller containers won’t require any more water than the smaller varities in the same size containers, Lower fertilizer levels are recomended for hip set. You may even find improved hip set on a plant grown in a undersized container. Just be sure not to repot a rose with hips that are starting to ripen. That often causes the hips to abort.

Thanks Paul and Wendy, this gives me a good idea of what i need and what I need to do.