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Plant Profile:  Miniature Roses


Miniature roses deserve much more attention. They are easier to grow than regular roses, will do well under lights inside, bloom almost continuously and have all the forms, fragrance and color you find in large roses.

Miniatures come in a variety of small sizes. The micros range in size from 8" to 12" (20.32 cm to 30.48 cm) and are the best choice for growing indoors under lights. Climbing minis can grow to 6' (182.88 cm) or more but their flowers and leaves will remain small. The most common minis will reach a height of 12" to 24" (30.48 cm to 60.96 cm) depending on the variety and growing conditions.

Culture

All miniature roses do well in the garden under the same culture you use for full-sized roses. Most of the miniatures flourish in pots as well. Regardless of how they come from the nursery, miniature roses need pots of about 6" (15.24 cm) per plant. The pot should be either plastic or glazed ceramic with drainage holes. Unglazed clay pots look nice but aren’t good for roses because the roots need constant moisture and air tends to get through the unglazed clay to dry out the root ball. Your Growise Center will recommend an appropriate potting mix and fertilizer suited to roses.

Going Indoors

If you want to grow the miniature roses indoors you will need either fluorescent lighting or a south facing window that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight. Your Growise Center can help you assemble appropriate fluorescent lighting. The ideal setup will include four tubes four feet long, side by side. The plants should be close to the lights, no more than four inches below, and the lights should be kept on about 16 hours a day.

While some houseplants require warm temperatures, minis are happy at cool room temperature, from 65F to 75F (18C to 25C). Cooler night temperatures are fine.

Outdoor Uses

Miniature roses are becoming increasingly popular as borders and accent plantings. Full-size rose gardens usually include a few specimens of many different roses, but with small roses it’s more effective visually to plant many of a single kind, massing the colors.

Varieties

For growing in low borders, Acey Deucy and Mountie are two vigorous, popular reds. Acey Deucy has hybrid tea form blooms and in the landscape will grow to a width of 16" (40.64 cm). Mountie produces bright red forms almost constantly and grows about a foot high, and 14" (35.56 cm) wide. This is a good choice for outdoor containers. Starina is a red-orange favorite that has stood the test of time, growing well in containers or the garden in any climate that suits full-sized roses. Your Growise Center will recommend other reds that do well in your area.

Among the yellows, Good Morning America and Rise ‘n Shine are vigorous bloomers. Rise ‘n Shine will reach about the same size as Mountie; Good Morning America becomes about 16" (40.64 cm) high and 24" (60.96 cm) across.

For container growing, Red Minimo is one of the most popular, reaching a maximum of 10" (25.40 cm) and producing clear red blooms continuously. Ask your Growise Center about other micros suitable for your area.

Arrangements

One delightful way to use miniature roses is in tiny arrangements. Those roses that produce a single bloom per stem, such as the white Pacesetter and the pink Minnie Pearl make elegant, small bouquets. You can use stems of herbs such as thyme or parsley as proportionately sized greenery to create unusual effects in demitasse cups and other small containers.

Hardiness

Because miniature roses appear so delicate in arrangements and in the garden, you may worry about their hardiness but, in fact, miniatures tend to be more hardy than hybrid tea roses, partly because it’s so easy to protect them in winter. Simply prune them back and mulch the root area with straw or leaves. The plants will go into a period of dormancy that helps them bloom better the following season. If your climate isn’t cold enough to induce dormancy, it’s especially important to prune miniature roses in late fall or early winter to give them a chance to rest before beginning to bloom again. 



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