Auburn, Ala. — For a gardener who has limited growing space, miniature roses can be a dream come true. With one small bush producing dozens of blooms that can last for weeks, it’s no wonder that potted miniature roses are often substituted for cut flowers. Gardeners with less space can enjoy growing these roses on a smaller scale.
Small but beautiful
Miniature roses are replicas of their larger relatives. Although they are typically smaller than standard roses, miniature roses still provide beautiful, fragrant and versatile flowers. The flowers, only an inch to two inches in diameter, give a delicate texture to the landscape. Miniatures can range in height from 8 inches to 24 inches and have smaller buds, stems and foliage.
The best thing about miniature roses is their carefree nature. Miniature roses can tolerate more shade than hybrid roses in your garden. The plants are tough, but they still need protection when temperatures drop below 10 degrees. Since miniature roses do so well outside, many gardeners like to put the roses on a patio for a few months each year.
Alabama Extension Regional Agent Mike McQueen cautions against keeping miniature roses indoors. Even though miniature roses are often seen being sold in supermarkets or by florists, they are not known to thrive as indoor plants. Miniature roses need about six hours of sunlight, and their delicate roots require abundant water. Mulch will help to protect their shallow root system.
Miniature roses grow well and can also be a great addition to the landscape of your home. When planted in containers, miniature roses can provide a focal point within a garden landscape. According to McQueen, they can also provide wonderful accents as a border or as a mass planting for spectacular color and variety in your garden. Miniature roses are also popular as ground covers, potted indoor plants, or hanging baskets.
Use a good rose soil mix
McQueen advises gardeners to get a good rose soil mix that will help when growing miniature roses. He recommends a customized mix of one-third compost, one-third topsoil and one-third sand.
“For the best performance, miniature roses should have about 12 to 16 inches of soil,” said McQueen.”You can house miniature rose bushes in a five-gallon container for up to six years before needing to transplant.”
Miniature roses are a wonderful way to have a variety of blooms within a smaller space. They are even grown on their own roots, so the “suckers” that come up are of the same variety.
For more information about growing roses, visit http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0157/ANR-0157.pdf.