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mica_hase

Container Roses in SoCal 10A

Mica Hase
4 months ago

I'm looking for some input for growing some roses in containers. I'm in Santa Barbara, Coastal Southern California, and would like to add 3-4 roses to my small backyard (floribunda or shrub). Criteria: fragrant, very disease resistant, (especially to mildew since it can get humid here), prolific, lots of repeat, no more than 4ft. tall. I would like a couple of antique roses in there (Austin, Romantica or similar) but I'm not sure how they would do without a cold winter. I am also looking at a Tangerine Skies climber and some Boleros in the ground. Thanks for your help!

Comments (34)

  • jerijen
    4 months ago

    Mica . . . You will find that Austin roses . . . well, MOST of them, are not going to take well to rationed water. And despite the rain of the past few days, that is going to be an issue for us along the central coast, going forward. (I am in Camarillo.)


    Also, on your Austins, look carefully at the descriptions. IF you are planting roses that are budded to rootstock, be sure the descriptions say that they are under 4-ft. at maturity. If they say 4-ft or more, they will be climbers here.


    On their own roots, there is much less size.


    How large are the pots you are considering? For roses up to 4-ft., you are going to need VERY LARGE POTS.


    One of the very BEST things you can do is to contact the Santa Barbara Rose Society:

    https://www.sbrose.org (Disclaimer, I am a long-time member)

    You will find that they are friendly, responsive, knowledgeable, and downright nice. They also have an informative Facebook page.


    And they have a public pruning coming up, at the A.C. Postel garden (across from the Mission).

    Mica Hase thanked jerijen
  • Diane Brakefield
    4 months ago

    We have a forum member, Deborah, who lives near Santa Barbara and grows beautiful roses. She just posted on the new seasonal winter thread. You might want to contact her about suggestions for roses in your area. Diane

    Mica Hase thanked Diane Brakefield
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  • Mica Hase
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    The pots will be around 20in in diameter.

  • jerijen
    4 months ago

    YMMV, but for roses that are 4-ft tall, that's "ok" but not ample. You may have to take them up and root-prune after a few years.


  • jerijen
    4 months ago

    I was just forcibly reminded of another issue -- DRAINAGE.


    The large, attractive pots often have just one hole in the bottom for drainage. Over time, it's easy for the hole to become plugged up so that it doesn't drain at all. When that happens, you have no choice but to remove the plant, remove all the soil, and deal with the lack of drainage.


    I am forcibly reminded of this because we have just that situation. We'll rescue the roses, and empty the pots, and find another purpose for them.


  • Mica Hase
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    I'm fully expecting that. Any input on Bolero, da Vinci or Olivia Austin?


  • Stephanie, 9b inland SoCal
    4 months ago

    Bolero stays smaller than most roses here in Southern California. I just got one so can’t speak from personal experience but several SoCal rose folks have posted that she does great here. The Austin roses are bred for a cool rainy British climate and aren’t the great for SoCal. Of all my roses they bloom the least. The Polyantha class hands down blooms the most…pretty much year round. I could recommend two miniature roses that stay under 3 feet for pots. Sweet Chariot and Softee. Burlington has both. They are both in full bloom right now at the beginning of January.

    Mica Hase thanked Stephanie, 9b inland SoCal
  • jerijen
    4 months ago

    Think about Stephanie's suggestions. They should be well suited to your conditions, and to containers. The only caution I would urge is to check the pH of your water. 'Sweet Chariot' isn't well-suited to alkaline conditions.


    'Sweet Chariot'

  • mustbnuts zone 9 sunset 9
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    I would recommend Topolina. It is one of my prettiest roses and it tends to stay small. Being a Kordes rose, they throw the book at them when they test them. They grow them without pesticides, herbicides, etc. https://www.helpmefind.com/gardening/l.php?l=2.64102.

    BTW, I grow half of my roses in pots. I use pots that are "insulated"--sorry I have a meeting at 3:30 so I am rushed and can't think of the name for them at the moment. They are thick and in essence made of Styrofoam. That makes them light as well. I use 24 inch ones and place them on these australian plant caddies which you can find on Amazon. No, I don't get a dime for recommending them. My local ACE also carries them. They will take up to 100 lbs and are great for moving your roses in pots around (trust me, you will be moving them). I drill several holes in the bottom of my pots so that they drain well.

    I really don't do any Austins in pots. They just get too big here in Ca for that. Doesn't make a difference if they are own root or not. Austin recommends Princess Alexandra of Kent for containers. I laugh every time. On her own root, she got over 6--8 feet tall and four or more feet wide her first year that I had her. She is a monster! Beautiful rose but not for a container here in CA.

    Got to scoot. Best of luck to you!


    Oh, my only Austin that stays small would be Emily (doesn't sell it anymore) and Mary Magdalene. Mary is one of my favorites and would do well in a pot if you can still find her.

    Mica Hase thanked mustbnuts zone 9 sunset 9
  • Mica Hase
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Are Romantica roses not bred for a mediterranean climate? The only Austin rose I was interested in was Olivia Austin. The others are Romantica roses. I was also liking the Abbaye Cluny. Polyanthas - maybe 1, but they are not really the look I was going for. Mustbnuts, I would love the info on the Styrofoam pots!

  • jerijen
    4 months ago

    MustbeNuts . . . There are also some terrific resin pots. We just had to buy a pair (long story, idiot in a truck, shattered pot ) We got them from Costco, reasonable price, and attractive.


    If you like purple, 'International Herald Tribune' would be a great Pot Pet.


    Mica Hase thanked jerijen
  • susan9santabarbara
    4 months ago

    @Mica Hase I live in Santa Barbara (actually Goleta) and have >90% of my ~240 roses in large pots. I generally use 15 gallon containers, and they work fine. 20" is pretty similar to the 15 gallon pots. Eventually (every 3-5 years), you'll want to pull them up to root-prune a bit and replace the sunken soil, which is why I don't go above 15 gallons... I'm old! There are many roses that do incredibly well here, so it's hard to choose, plus I'm about to go to bed! For easy-to-find floribundas, off the top of my head, I find Ebb Tide, Julia Child, Trumpeter, Marmalade Skies to bloom incredibly well. Bolero and Love Song would also be great choices. Iceberg, Brilliant Pink Iceberg, and Burgundy Iceberg are also great choices. La Sumida has all of these listed. There are tons of great HTs too. I grow ~16 Austins, but a lot of mine are older varieties. If you can, I'd highly echo Deborah's suggestion for going to La Sumida on Patterson tomorrow or soon. They have the best selection and quality of bare roots (in bins) between LA and SF for a very reasonable price.

    Mica Hase thanked susan9santabarbara
  • susan9santabarbara
    4 months ago

    @Mica Hase Sorry, I realized after posting that I didn't consider your desire for fragrance. I tend to be a frsgrance hound, but I answered only based on amount of bloom, availablity, and disease resistance.

    Mica Hase thanked susan9santabarbara
  • rosecanadian
    4 months ago

    My favorites for growing in containers and for fragrance are: Parade Day, Chartreuse de Parme and Nicole Carol Miller. I don't think they would get too big for you...but??




    Mica Hase thanked rosecanadian
  • seasiderooftop
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    Hi @Mica Hase and happy New Year!

    I am in zone 11 and also grow my roses in pots. However I am new to rose growing so I can only offer limited experience, as my roses are still young.

    I second the recommendation for Icebergs, although the fragrance is faint. It's a bit stronger in the cooler months but in summer I hardly get any fragrance from my Iceberg at all.

    When I contacted DA for suggestions for pots in my climate, they suggested Princess Anne, as well as Scarborough Fair.

    Mica Hase thanked seasiderooftop
  • socks
    4 months ago

    How about Julia Child?


    I have two in the ground and they never have gotten too big, bloom a lot.

    Mica Hase thanked socks
  • Claire Fanger
    4 months ago

    I grew Spice for some years in a pot about that size; the downside for me was the blooms got so small, practically microscopic in our hot conditions for months at a time, but I am in Houston, and I think it does not get so hot in SB. The posiives: even in Houston it builds strong roots fast and has great foliage year round. In the months where it got cool at night (late November to early April here, but esp. in the dead of winter, Jan, Feb) the blooms could be big and enchanting and the fragrance exquisite and strong, of tropical fruit/. ripe grapefruit. Bolero reminds me of the fragrance a little, but Bolero has some sweeter candylike thing going on over top of the fruit. (I have only had Bolero for a few weeks but it arrived in bud and won't quit blooming; I am enamored of it and I don't even like white roses.)

    Mica Hase thanked Claire Fanger
  • rosecanadian
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    Chartreuse de Parme




    Chandos Beauty


    Nicole Carol Miller


    from this year...the worst rose year of my life...but NCM kept on chugging along


    Lasting Love

    Parade Day - it does get taller than this.


    All of these have lots of fragrance! :)

    Mica Hase thanked rosecanadian
  • Ryan Coastal LA Zone 10b
    4 months ago

    I’m also in coastal CA 10a (Los Angeles) but new to growing roses so I won’t add much in terms of advice. I’m always interested in seeing lists of roses from those who live in the area and do container rose gardening since it’s a good gauge for newbies like me what’ll work well, so I’ll add my list.

    So far I have had great success with Bolero, Edith’s Darling, Life of the Party and Julia Child. All are pretty fragrant. I have had good luck with some hybrid teas and shrubs like Double Delight and Distant Drums. I use the same containers you linked above but some of my roses are still in smaller (10 gallon) containers as they’re own root and young. If you go that route you’ll be able to keep them in smaller containers for a little bit.

    Mica Hase thanked Ryan Coastal LA Zone 10b
  • Mica Hase
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Thanks All. I went to La Sumida Nursery today and picked up my bareroots, most at $20 each. I got Bolero, Tangerine Skies Climber, Bliss Perfuma, Just Joey, and Perfume Delight, which was highly recommended. Now here is to hoping I can get them all to bloom!

  • susan9santabarbara
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    Mica, you'll do great with these! Perfume Delight and Just Joey are two of my top faves. Perfume Delight has a great fragrance, and blooms like crazy. Just Joey isn't as floriferous as PD, but the blooms are so worth it... they make my heart melt. I mentioned Bolero above (great choice). I haven't grown Tangerine Skies or Bliss Parfuma. I bought four roses today (one for a friend who lives in Solvang) and the prices were 16.95-19.95. I have them all soaking in a big tub of water and will plant them tomorrow or Weds. The quality of their bare roots is superb... no chopped roots, all in large tubs, and a couple had new basal breaks showing. I always pot mine up to 5 gallons until they grow on a bit, and then I put them in their permanent 15 gallon homes a few months later. It's a testament to their roots that I always need to prune them to fit in the 5 gallon pots.

  • Mica Hase
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    I just put them in a bucket with soil. Do I need to put them in water instead tonight? I will plant the ground roses tomorrow, but need tow wait 2 weeks for my planters to arrive. What do you use for fertilizing, insects (bee safe) and disease control, if anything? (Ground and container). I like organic but sadly my dogs dig up anything that smells even faintly yucky.

  • susan9santabarbara
    4 months ago

    I always soak my bare roots in water for at least 24 hours before planting. And one year when I had appendicitis and was in the hospital for 4 days and recovering a long time afterwards, I left my bare roots soaking for 3 weeks (in the shade). Not recommended, but it was fine. Putting them in soil (in the shade, and preferably moist loose potting soil) for a couple of weeks is fine until you get your pots. Don't let them dry out! I used to spray fungicides and occasionally insecticides, but I don't do any of those any longer. The fungicides are usually fine for beneficials (bees, etc), but I got lazy in my old age. The roses are fine. I'd start by assuming that you don't have to spray or treat for disease or bugs, and then see how things go. I use a combo of organics, Osmocote, and MiracleGro for fertilizer.

    Mica Hase thanked susan9santabarbara
  • seasiderooftop
    4 months ago

    @Mica Hase

    So glad you found your roses and I hope they do great! I'll be looking forward to any updates you post about how they do for you!


    @rosecanadian

    I didn't know about Nicole Carole Miller, what a pretty pink rose! Thanks for sharing those pics! Off to HMF to find out more...

    Mica Hase thanked seasiderooftop
  • mustbnuts zone 9 sunset 9
    4 months ago

    Jeri hit it on the nose with the pots. They are resin pots. Jeri got hers at Costo. I got mine at OSH (which unfortunately doesn't exist anymore---let's have a moment of silence for OSH.......gosh I miss them!).


    I have bought the pots at Sam's Club and they are a great price there. Again, I drill extra holes on the bottom for good drainage (plus I love using my cordless drill!). I then put window screening (cut to size of the bottom of the pot), inside the pot so the soil doesn't come out of it when I water. Works great. All of my pots are on drip BTW to help conserve water.

    Mica Hase thanked mustbnuts zone 9 sunset 9
  • Mica Hase
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Yes, I am planning to put mine on drip as well. So much easier! Thanks for the mesh tip :)

  • Deborah (Z10 Coastal CA)
    4 months ago

    @mustbnuts zone 9 sunset 9 -- I miss OSH! We now have a Miners Ace Hardware. They're okay, pretty good. But not OSH!


    @Mica Hase -- I think I was at La Sumida the same time as you! I was getting a Bolero and heard someone ask for three Boleros and a Tangerine Skies... It was an odd day -- most of the usual helpers I know well weren't there, and I had to wait around a long time before anyone asked if I needed help! Maybe it was lunchtime. I echo Susan's advice re soaking or keeping moist until you plant. I soaked mine the moment I got home and got up extra early to plant my two this morning before I went to work. I moved my Connie's Sandstorm to a pot to make room for a Fun in the Sun, which I hadn't planned on getting!


    @rosecanadian -those are gorgeous roses and stunning photos! Good thing I didn't see your NCM until after I made my purchases, or I'd be buying yet another rose!

  • Mica Hase
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Ha, ha, yes that was me! Small town. I almost bought Fun in the Sun too - it was right next to Joey :) Unfortunately i didn't soak the roses until this morning - but I did have them in moist soil. Didn't realize I would have to do that right after purchase. Hopefully that didn't damage them. I have them now in water with B1 and a little bit of bleach, per this care guide: http://www.santaclaritarose.org Ground roses are going in tomorrow. Should I add any manure? I have rose soil and some mycorrhizal fungi for the roots. And no fertilizer until later, right?

  • rosecanadian
    4 months ago

    Seaside - Nicole Carol Miller is actually lavender...really lovely! :) :)


    Deborah - thanks! :) :) NCM is in my top 5 list. :) :) :)



  • kittymoonbeam
    4 months ago

    Watering is crucial as we get into the warmer months. Roses stop blooming if they don't get enough so be sure you system provides plenty to wet the whole root area.

    Mica Hase thanked kittymoonbeam
  • SylviaWW 9a Hot dry SoCal
    4 months ago

    I’ve been wanting to get in on this, but Houzz was being persnickety…

    When I lived in 10a (East SFV), I grew Carding Mill in a pot. It did well there and showed no signs of growing too big. The same can’t be said of Munstead Wood or Darcey Bussell — when i took them with me here to 9a, they were bursting out of their whiskey barrels. i put them in the ground.

    i would recommend Carding Mill if the color suits you.

    i have two Love Songs in half-barrels (the plastic kind). They have done very well with afternoon shade, just as well as their siblings (clones?) that are in the ground.

    Life of the Party and Camille Pissarro are in pots, facing west. They need deep watering in the summer — i put the bubbler hose head in them and leave them for 30 minutes, once a week. When we have triple digits, of course, they get more.

    I feed coffee grounds to my potted roses. Great mulch, and I think it intensifies color —?

    One more: I had Julia Child in a pot in 10a. She liked it there!


    Mica Hase thanked SylviaWW 9a Hot dry SoCal
  • Deborah (Z10 Coastal CA)
    4 months ago

    @Mica Hase - I'm new to container roses -- but you can look at the Heirloom Roses and David Austin websites and they both advocate using the mycorr. -- and I know Heirloom recommends a bit of steer manure deep down (not touching the brand new roots, but available when the roots start growing). I usually mix up some manure, some alfalfa, and some EB Stone rose grow mix, then put that at bottom, put more soil in, then sprinkle the myccc. and sure start (from EB stone) closer to/on the roots/in the hole, and then put the rose bush in and backfill. Everything in the ground goes in a rigid gopher wire cage (5 gallon), and now everything in pots gets a one-gallone cage pressed into bottom of pot so even if another gopher chews a hole in the pot, it will encounter the wire of the cage and save my rose roots (and berry and tomato roots!). We haven't had much heat -- so probably your roses were just fine. With the wind from the day before I hope you kept them moist! drat that wind...

    Mica Hase thanked Deborah (Z10 Coastal CA)