- Grow a Miniature Rose Indoors
- Miniature Rose Is No Houseplant
- Learn About Self-Cleaning Rose Bushes
- What is a Self-Cleaning Rose?
- List of Self-Cleaning Rose Bushes
- Miniature rose
- Miniature Rose
- Top varieties for Miniature rose
- More varieties for Miniature rose
- Miniature Roses’ Species
- Miniature Roses For the Holidays
Grow a Miniature Rose Indoors
Rose fans know bigger isn’t always better. Miniature roses, re-blooming shrubs that grow about 6 to 36 inches high, are as lovely as their full-size relatives and come in many colors and forms. Some minis—especially those with lavender or purple petals—even have a fragrance. The tiniest roses, known as micro-minis, have blooms less than an inch wide.
Because minis are so compact, they’re often sold in containers for your windowsill. Most will bloom indoors for a week or two, although they’ll need to be planted outdoors to get the sun and other growing conditions they need for the long run. But give them a little care, and miniature roses can be great, although temporary, houseplants.
Here’s what you need to know:
Give your mini rose five or more hours of sun every day. Can’t provide that much natural light? If you’re really serious about growing miniature roses indoors, set up some grow lights. The American Rose Society recommends alternating between a cool white, a warm white fluorescent and an incandescent light at a ratio of 3 watts fluorescent to 1 watt incandescent. Roses need regular periods of light and darkness, though, so don’t leave the lights on all the time.
Raise the humidity around your mini rose. The average home is too dry for them, which can cause their leaves to drop. Use a humidifier or put your plants on top of some pebbles in a shallow tray of water. (Don’t let the plants touch the water, or the roots may rot.) You can also mist around your plants a few times every day.
Minis need good air circulation. If it’s too cold outside to open your windows every now and then, use a small fan to move the air around.
Most roses are heat-tolerant, but minis do best in daytime temperatures in the low to mid-70s, with a drop to the low to mid-60s at night. They’ll stop blooming if the temperatures drop below 50 degrees F for a while.
Don’t let your mini rose go completely dry. Water thoroughly when the soil feels dry about 1 inch deep. If you’re using a saucer underneath, pour off any excess water.
If you keep your mini rose indoors for a long time, you’ll probably need to fertilize. Apply a slow-release or water-soluble fertilizer when the plant is actively growing, following directions on the label.
Prune your minis, if needed, in late winter or very early spring. Remove dead or broken branches, and shape it as desired by cutting back healthy stems to just above a five-leaflet leaf. Deadhead—or pinch off—the spent blossoms to encourage more blooms.
Spider mites thrive in warm, dry conditions and can be a real problem when you’re growing miniature roses indoors. If you see these insects or their webs, knock them off with a spray of water in the kitchen sink. Spray underneath the leaves, too. If they persist, step up to a pesticide labeled for indoor use.
Minis can suffer from blackspot and other diseases that affect full-sized roses. To treat diseases, remove any infected leaves and use a fungicide labeled for inside use for your specific problem.
Once your mini rose starts dropping leaves or showing other signs of declining, you could compost it. But if you move it outside before it’s too far gone to recover, you can plant it in your yard or garden and enjoy the flowers for years to come. Most miniature roses are tough plants that are hardy in zones 5 to 9.
Start by slowly acclimating your mini to the outside world. Move it into a sheltered spot for a few hours each day, gradually increasing the time outside, for about 7 to 10 days.
When you’re ready to plant, dig a hole as deep as the container and 12 inches wider. Slide the rose of its pot and loosen the roots. To improve the soil, add some organic matter to the planting hole. Put the rose in and spread out its roots. Backfill and gently firm the soil. Most minis are grown on their own roots, so you don’t have to worry about burying the graft.
Water thoroughly and mulch to help keep moisture in the soil and protect the plant from freezing. Minis grow quickly to full size once they’re established outdoors.
Miniatures are just that–small bushes with small flowers. Miniature roses have enjoyed a remarkable increase in popularity over the years. Many factors play into the increase, not the least of which is their adaptability to small gardens and containers and their dependability as extremely winter-hardy garden roses. Miniatures descended from a single dwarf China rose called‘Rouletii.’ Miniatures were very popular with Chinese gardeners and only became popular in the United States when breeding programs started to blossom just after World War II.
Miniatures range in height from 3 inches to 18 inches. Most are continuous bloomers with little or no fragrance. As a class, they are excellent for containers, borders, rock gardens, and other small spaces. Miniatures are almost always grown on their own root, not grafted. As a result, they are extremely winter-hardy. Much of the hybridization work on miniatures is now done in the United States producing many of the better contemporary varieties.
A quote from David Austin, a prominent English rose breeder, sums up the miniature rose revolution: “It is an odd fact that the miniature roses have received more attention in the land of the‘bigger and better,’ the United States, than anywhere else.” Maybe it’s time to think of miniatures not just as plants growing on windowsills or in clay pots in grandmother’s kitchen, but as versatile garden plants.
Miniature Rose Is No Houseplant
Miniature roses scarcely existed a century ago. Now shoppers can find them for sale in grocery stores, where they’re touted as indoor plants.
But watch out: Although instruction tags advise buyers to grow them in sunny locations, even indoors in sunny windows, rose experts have a different opinion.
“Rose plants belong outdoors, and that includes miniatures,” says Lillian Biesiadecki, whose Newport Beach garden features 400 full-size rosebushes and 250 miniatures, including ‘Carrot Top’ and ‘Hot Tamale.’
A past president of the Orange County Rose Society and currently a judge and consulting rosarian with the American Rose Society, Biesiadecki knows her roses. And she encourages everyone to grow America’s national flower . . . outdoors.
“Miniature roses can always be plugged into a landscape or grown in containers on patios or decks,” she says. “But the only way they can indoors is if a plant is in full bloom and you want to enjoy the blossoms in the house for a week or so while they last.”
Laurie Chaffin, co-owner of Pixie Treasures Miniature Rose Nursery in Yorba Linda and a hybridizer of new varieties, agrees.
“Never, never try to grow miniature roses indoors unless you regard them as a disposable plant,” she says. “People think they’re supposed to grow indoors. If they won’t believe me, I tell them to believe their plants.”
Chaffin says small rose plants show their stress indoors by growing tall and leggy to capture sunlight. Unless under grow lights, leaves turn yellow and fall off, and the plant dies.
“They need more sunlight than a window situation can provide,” she says. “In a greenhouse window, their roots get overheated, and the plants die.”
Outdoors, they’re versatile.
“People should think of them as landscape plants and not just as roses,” Chaffin says. ‘They’re excellent in front of a border or any sunny place where you need a 1- or 2-foot blooming shrub.”
Don’t be misled by the nomenclature of miniature rose.
Some varieties can grow as big as 4 feet; others are a petite 12 inches. Varieties grow as climbing roses.
A miniature rose is one whose flower and foliage is proportionately small.
The most diminutive are called microminiatures because these tiny plants, such as ‘Tom Thumb’ and ‘Baby Ophelia,’ reach 6 to 8 inches, with corresponding tiny blooms and foliage.
They come in a dazzling array of colors, including shades of pink, red and yellow.
Buyers can also find them in pure white and novelty colors such as oranges, stripes, two-tones and “hand-painted” roses with colors that bleed and intensify as the blossoms age.
Flower forms range from simple singles to classic, high-centered exhibition shapes–and a vast array in between. Many lack fragrance, but some, especially lavender hues, are sweetly scented.
All varieties have the same growing needs. All roses, including minis, need abundant sunshine, water and fertilizer.
Biesiadecki likes to minimize care by growing mini roses in 7-gallon containers, which permit more root development so she can save time on watering and feeding.
Chaffin counsels her clients to repot plants from 4-inch containers to 14- or 16-inch containers.
“The bigger the pot, the more lax you can get on care,” she says.
In days of intense heat or wind, it might be necessary to water containers daily. Cooler temperatures and cloudy skies reduce frequency to several times a week.
Mini roses need food, but not as much as their larger relatives.
Chaffin recommends a foliar fertilizer, diluted to one-half the package directions. She also likes to use fish emulsion.
She cautions against using fertilizers that contain systemic insecticides, which will kill miniature rose plants. Instead, to combat unwanted insects, she likes to hose off the foliage, especially under leaves, where most pests hide.
Pruning is simple. Many people cut mini roses back by two-thirds in January or February. While some gardeners use hedge shears, Biesiadecki prefers to trim and shape each bush with small pruners.
“If you cut to the ground, in time you end up with very bushy centers, and you lose some very good canes,” she says.
Learn About Self-Cleaning Rose Bushes
By Stan V. Griep
American Rose Society Consulting Master Rosarian – Rocky Mountain District
Seems like there are Buzz Words connected to many things today, and in the rose world the words “self-cleaning roses” tend to grab people’s attention. What are self-cleaning roses and why would you want a self-cleaning rose bush? Keep reading to learn more about roses that self clean.
What is a Self-Cleaning Rose?
This term “self-cleaning” rose refers to varieties of rose bushes that require no deadheading or pruning to clean up the old blooms and get them to blooming again. This
also means that self-cleaning roses do not develop rose hips. Since these self-cleaning rose bushes do not develop rose hips, they start to bring forth another cycle of blooms just as soon as the previous blooms start to fade or drop petals.
The only pruning or trimming self-cleaning rose bushes need is to keep them in the shape you desire for your rose bed or landscape design. The old bloom dries up and eventually falls away, but while it is doing so, the new blooms hide them with new bright blooms.
Technically, self-cleaning roses are not truly self cleaning, as some clean up is required, just not as much as you would have with hybrid tea, floribunda, grandiflora and shrub roses. Self-cleaning roses can make your rose garden far less of a chore when it comes to keeping it looking stunning.
List of Self-Cleaning Rose Bushes
The knockout rose bushes are from the self-cleaning line. I have listed a few others here for you as well:
- Pink Simplicity Rose
- My Hero Rose
- Feisty Rose – Miniature Rose
- Flower Carpet Rose
- Winnipeg Parks Rose
- Topaz Jewel Rose – Rugosa Rose
- Climbing Candy Land Rose – Climbing Rose
Gardeners limited in space can enjoy all the fun of rose growing by cultivating miniature roses in containers. They also adapt well to flowerbed edging, front-of-the-border socializing with perennials and annuals, and low hedges.
Miniature roses first came into being in the early 1930s as an accidental result of rose hybridizing. Since then, master miniaturists have created many jewel-like varieties featuring perfectly shaped tiny blooms on clean, healthy plants that generally stay under 2 feet.
Miniature roses respond to all the care basics of regular-size roses — deep irrigation, sunshine. and regular fertilizing — but they do need extra winter protection in colder climates. To ensure the plant doesn’t die back to the roots, in Zone 5 and below, bury the rose plant in a mound of soil.
Top varieties for Miniature rose
A new breed of landscaping roses came about with the advent of shrub roses, which offer beautiful ways to fill in borders and cover bare earth. The low-growing groundcover roses are useful for mass planting in a border or under a tree, and to mix colorfully with perennials or shrubs, line a path, cover a slope, or to be planted in hanging baskets or window boxes for a bloom-spilling display.To reinvigorate groundcover roses each year, cut back the plants by two-thirds while they are still dormant in early spring.
Floribunda roses offer a bouquet on every branch. The small flowers look like elegant hybrid tea blooms but appear in clusters instead of one flower per stem. Floribundas are a cross between polyantha species roses and hybrid teas, combining hardiness, free flowering, and showy, usually fragrant blooms. Sizes of these hardy roses vary from compact and low-growing to a more open habit and heights of 5-6 feet, ideal for tall hedges. The foliage on floribunda roses tends to shrug off diseases, making for a low-maintenance plant that delivers maximum impact with its continuous bloom cycles. Most floribundas require very little spring pruning — just removal of dead or damaged wood.
Shrub roses take the best of the hardiest rose species, and combine those traits with modern repeat blooming and diverse flower forms, colors and fragrances. Some shrub roses may grow tall, with vigorous, far-reaching canes; others stay compact. Recent rose breeding has focused on developing hardier shrub roses for landscaping that need little to no maintenance.
Grandiflora roses blend the best traits of hybrid teas and floribundas. They produce the same elegantly shaped blooms as hybrid teas, but in long-stemmed clusters that continually repeat, like floribundas. The plants tend to be tall (up to 7 feet), hardy, and disease-resistant. Because of their size, grandifloras are suited to hedging and flower-border backgrounds. This rose category was created to accommodate the unique ‘Queen Elizabeth’ rose introduced in 1955.
One of the biggest challenges for late 20th-century rose breeders was restoring fragrance while improving vigor of new rose introductions. English-style roses provide a lush, romantic solution. The flowers are densely filled with petals, much like antique roses, and most possess a strong fragrance that harkens back to old-fashioned tea roses. Yet their growth habits, health, and, most of all, their tendency to repeat bloom, are an improvement on their ancestors.English roses are a good choice for cutting gardens. Their full, intensely perfumed flowers make sumptuous bouquets. Some varieties climb if left unpruned and can be trained along a fence or arborShown here: Heritage English rose
The acrobats of the rose world, climbing varieties develop long canes well adapted to training on pillars, fences, arbors, and gazebos. Most climbing roses are mutations or variations of bush-type varieties. They develop either large, single flowers or clustered blooms on a stem. Climbers may bloom once a season or continually, depending on the variety. Climbers can be trained to bloom more heavily by leading their canes in a horizontal direction. Loose anchoring to a support will encourage young plants to climb.
If you favor a slightly wilder look in your garden, look to the ancestors of roses you grow and enjoy for many of the same admirable qualities. Most species roses offer small blooms, and they usually appear only once a season, but the landscaping benefits make them worthwhile to include in borders and background plantings. Most species roses can tolerate extreme weather conditions and because of their colorful hips (fruit), they are good choices for attracting birds and other wildlife to the garden. The canes are often vigorous and arching. Stems may be highly colored but are almost always thorny, making large species good candidates for privacy hedging and deer-frequented areas.
Hybrid teas traditionally produce the showiest blooms. In fact, most roses at florist shops are hybrid tea varieties. Today’s rose breeding emphasizes fragrance as well as plant vigor. The form of a hybrid tea rose is tall and upright, with sparse foliage toward the base. The blooms develop singly on long stems, and the buds are often as elegant as the open blooms.Hybrid teas require careful pruning while still dormant in early spring to ensure good air circulation through the plant and development of vigorous, healthy canes. A sunny location with well-drained, fertile soil and rose food applied at least three times a season will guarantee abundant flowers to enjoy in a vase. Protect roses in climates colder than Zone 6 with heavy mulching around the base of the plant.
More varieties for Miniature rose
‘Amy Grant’ rose
Rosa ‘Amy Grant’ bears light pink blooms in a classic hybrid tea form that are poised on glossy, disease-resistant foliage. The plant grows 2 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9
‘Baby Boomer’ rose
Rosa ‘Baby Boomer’ offers gorgeous, baby-pink blooms atop long stems, so they’re perfect cut flowers. The foliage is glossy and dark green. Plants grow 2 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-10
‘Baby Love’ rose
Rosa ‘Baby Love’ usually outperforms all other roses, large and small. Single buttercup-color blooms continually smother the upright plant. The bright green foliage is exceptionally disease resistant. Plants grow 3 feet tall. Zones 5-9
‘Black Jade’ rose
Rosa ‘Black Jade’ features midnight-red, almost-black buds that unfurl into velvety red flowers. The plant grows 2 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-10
‘Carrot Top’ rose
Rosa ‘Carrot Top’ bears double petal-packed, sizzling-orange flowers. The rounded plants grow 12-16 inches high. Zones 5-9
‘Dancing Flame’ rose
Rosa ‘Dancing Flame’ features cerise-pink edging on yellow petals. An abundant bloomer, it also features glossy, disease-resistant foliage. It grows to 2 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9
‘Gourmet Popcorn’ rose
Rosa ‘Gourmet Popcorn’ produces cascading clusters of fragrant snowy-white flowers all season on a disease-resistant plant. It grows 2 feet tall. Zones 5-9
‘Little Artist’ rose
Rosa ‘Little Artist’ shows off semidouble ruffled blooms that open to reveal a splashy color scheme of scarlet petals with large white centers. It blooms profusely and grows 16 inches tall. Zones 5-9
‘Magic Carousel’ rose
Rosa ‘Magic Carousel’ offers rounded petals edged in red that frame snow-white centers. The vigorous plants grow 18 inches tall and wide. Zones 5-11
‘Rainbow’s End’ rose
Rosa ‘Rainbow’s End’ blooms feature lemon-yellow petals highlighted by scarlet edging. The colors stay true when grown indoors or outdoors. It grows 22 inches high and wide. Zones 4-11
‘Sun Sprinkles’ rose
Rosa ‘Sun Sprinkles’ is an award winner with perfectly formed, deep yellow blooms that have a spicy scent. This variety features generous flowering and glossy, dark green foliage. It is a taller miniature plant, growing to 2 feet tall. Zones 5-9
Miniature Roses’ Species
With their elfin scale and ever-widening range of colors and forms, miniature roses appeal to gardeners of all ages. Their small size makes it possible to grow an extensive rose garden in a tiny space, either indoors in containers or outdoors in beds and borders. Most will bloom all year under indoor lighting, and most are winter hardy outdoors.
Everything about a miniature rose is small, from its flowers and leaves to the length of its canes. The tiniest miniatures, called micro-minis, grow as small as 3 inches high. Larger types range in height from 10 to 30 inches, depending on variety. Some have tiny, high-centered flowers resembling those of hybrid teas; others have decorative flowers produced in sprays like small floribundas.
When the first miniature roses appeared early in the 18th century, they were prized as curiosities. In recent years, however, miniature roses have been playing an increasingly important role in the garden, enabling roses to appear in all sorts of new applications.
For the owners of small gardens, these dwarf roses have obvious advantages. But the miniatures also make a handsome edging for a larger bed, and they fit neatly into a window box or hanging basket. They fit the scale of a rock garden, and the climbing types work well as ground covers.
Despite the delicacy of their appearance, the miniatures can be quite hardy. Tolerance for cold varies from cultivar to cultivar. Even in colder regions, these low-profile shrubs often survive the winter without damage if buried under an insulating blanket of snow or covered with evergreen boughs. Their ability to nestle into the still spot at the foot of a wall, where they will escape dehydrating winds, makes miniature roses a good choice for the desert Southwest.
‘Avandel’ Roses (Introduced – 1977) Pointed pink buds open into double yellow flowers blended with peach and pink. Blooms have 20 to 25 petals and measure 1 to 1 1/2 inches across, with open flowers being flat to cup shaped. They repeat well all summer and have a strong, fruity fragrance. Bushy plants grow 12 inches high and are extremely winter hardy. The disease-resistant leathery foliage is medium to dark green.
‘Beauty Secret’ Roses (Introduced – 1965) Medium red flowers with 24 to 30 petals are 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide and have a heavy fragrance. They repeat quickly throughout the growing season. Semi-glossy medium to dark green foliage clothes the bushy plant, which grows 10 to 18 inches tall.
‘Black Jade’ Roses (Introduced -1985 ) The darkest red of any rose, ‘Black Jade’ rose is so dark it is almost black. High-centered, velvety, 3/4-inch flowers have 30 petals and long cutting stems. Rounded 18- to 24-inch plants have glossy, dark green, disease resistant foliage.
‘Brass Ring’ Roses (Introduced – 1981) Pointed buds open into flat blooms that appear in large sprays. The very prolific 1 – to 1 1/4-inch flowers have 21 petals, and are coppery orange fading to rose-pink as they age. Leaves are small, pointed, and glossy on upright, 18-inch plants with arching stems.
‘Center Gold’ Roses (Introduced – 1981) Originally introduced as a fund-raiser for the American Rose Center, the American Rose Society’s headquarters, ‘Center Gold’ rose has high-centered, deep yellow; very double 1-inch flowers with 60 petals and a spicy fragrance. This rose occasionally produces white flowers. Blooms appear one to a stem or in large sprays on 14- to 18-inch plants with glossy, textured leaves.
‘Centerpiece’ Roses (Introduced – 1985) High-centered, velvety, 1- to 1 1/4-inch flowers with 35 petals have a slight fragrance and excellent substance, making them long lasting in the garden or as a cut flower. Flowers are deep to medium red; disease-resistant leaves are small, dark green, and semi-glossy. Plants grow 12 to 16 inches tall.
‘Cinderella’ Roses (Introduced – 1953) A truly miniature rose, ‘Cinderella’ grows on a scale small enough to fit into the crevices of a rock garden and is at home in a hanging basket or window box. The full, double blossoms are officially described as white, but in fact they have a rosy blush to them when they open and then pale as they age. Like the other popular classes of everbloomers, the miniature roses are often lacking in fragrance, but ‘Cinderella’ is an exception, for its blossoms have a robust, spicy perfume.
This rose’s diminutive stature should not discourage the owners of large properties from including it in their plantings. Used as an edging or set in the front of a flower border, ‘Cinderella’ rose has no trouble holding its own.
‘Cuddles’ Roses (Introduced – 1978) Oval buds open into deep coral-pink, very double, flowers with 55 to 60 petals. The flowers are high-centered, 1 to 1 1/2 inches across, and slightly fragrant. Excellent substance makes this a long-lasting flower. Compact plants grow 14 to 16 inches high.
‘Cupcake’ Roses (Introduced – 1981) As pure pink as the icing on a cupcake, this variety has double, 1 1/2-inch, high-centered, mildly fragrant flowers with 45 to 50 petals. The 12- to 18-inch plants are neat, rounded, and compact with abundant shiny foliage, and good for containers.
‘Debut’ Roses (Introduced – 1988) Named because it was one of the first three miniatures to win an MRS award (the others were ‘New Beginning’ and ‘Pride ‘n’ Joy’), ‘Debut’ rose has pointed buds and high-centered flowers that bloom prolifically on spreading, 12- to 18-inch plants with dark green, disease-resistant foliage. Flowers are 1 to 2 inches across, have 15 to 22 petals, and are ivory to pale yellow with a broad red edging.
‘Dee Bennett’ Roses (Introduced – 1988) This brilliant apricot variety was named for the late Dee Bennett, a hybridizer of fine miniatures. Its 1-inch flowers are double, with excellent substance, making this a long-lasting flower in the garden or in a vase. Dark green foliage covers a mounded, 14- to 18-inch plant.
‘Dreamglo’ Roses (Introduced – 1978) Long and pointed, the buds of ‘Dreamglo’ open to double flowers. Each bloom bears about 50 white petals that are blended and tipped with red. The blooms are borne singly, appearing abundantly in midseason and repeating well. They have the classic high-centered hybrid tea form. The 1 1/2-inch-wide blossoms are lightly fragrant and very long lasting; leaves are small, glossy, and dark green.
This vigorous rose has a compact, upright habit and is an excellent choice for the foreground of beds and borders. This rose is disease resistant.
‘Gourmet Popcorn’ Roses (Introduced – 1986) The flowers of ‘Gourmet Popcorn’ are semi-double and pure white with golden centers -just like kernels of buttered popcorn, in fact -and they are borne in large clusters throughout much of the growing season. This is an excellent compact border or landscape shrub with very disease-resistant dark green foliage. It is also exceptionally cold hardy, overwinter ‘Gourmet Popcorn’ without any artificial protection; the rose’s small stature allows it to hide beneath the natural insulation of a blanket of snow.
‘Green Ice’ Roses (Introduced – 1971) Green flowers provide an arresting accent for the flower garden, especially when they are as shapely as the blossoms of ‘Green Ice’. Its pointed buds open into high-centered, fully double, white blooms that mimic in miniature the classic form of the hybrid tea. Though they open icy white, they gradually darken to a pleasing soft green. The foliage is attractive, too: delicate and glossy.
This shrub’s lax habit of growth lends itself to training along a low wall or fence, but it also shows to good advantage when displayed in a hanging basket. ‘Green Ice’ fits easily into a rock garden and makes an unusual edging plant. For a bolder statement, mass several plants together.
‘Holy Toledo’ Roses (Introduced – 1978) Double, slightly fragrant flowers have 28 petals and measure 1 1/2 to 2 inches across. The outstanding characteristic of this mini is its unusual color, a bright orange to deep apricot with a yellow base. Vigorous, bushy plants grow 18 to 24 inches tall and have shiny, dark green, disease-resistant leaves. Unfortunately, ‘Holy Toledo’ rose is tender where winters are cold.
‘Hombre’ Roses (Introduced – 1982) High-centered flowers of light apricot-pink have petals with a light pink reverse. The 1-inch blooms, with over 40 petals, open out flat. Compact plants are 12- to 14- inches high with small, medium green, semi-glossy leaves.
‘Humdinger’ Roses (Introduced – 1976) ‘Humdinger’ rose is a micromini and therefore a good choice for containers. The very double, 1-inch flowers have 50 petals and good repeat bloom. Blooms are orange-red and high centered. Plants grow only 8 to 10 inches high and have dark green, shiny leaves.
‘Hurdy Gurdy’ Roses (Introduced – 1986) The blossoms of ‘Hurdy Gurdy’ are dark red with white stripes. Each small double bloom has 26 to 40 petals and a light fragrance. Medium green glossy leaves are also small.
This miniature has an upright habit and is a good choice for an edging. It is effective when placed in the foreground of a rose bed or incorporated into a perennial border. This rose can also be grown in containers or in a patio planting. Deadheading the spent blooms will encourage its flowers to repeat through the summer. The rose is heat tolerant and disease resistant.
‘Irresistible’ Roses (Introduced – 1989) The perfectly formed double flowers of ‘Irresistible’ rose are white with a pale pink center and are produced on long stems. Borne singly and in clusters, the high-centered blooms have more than 40 petals each and put off a moderate, spicy fragrance. Hips are green to yellow brown, and leaves are medium green and semi- glossy.
Plants are upright and larger than most miniatures. They are well suited to growing in beds, borders, and containers. Their abundant production of long-stemmed hybrid-tea-type blooms makes them ideal for flower cutting and exhibiting.
‘Jean Kenneally’ Roses (Introduced – 1984) ‘Jean Kenneally’ bears hybrid tea-shaped, double, apricot blooms, singly and in clusters, repeatedly throughout the summer and into the fall. These flowers are lightly scented and make excellent cut flowers.
Tall and robust for a miniature, ‘Jean Kenneally’ adapts well to a container, but it can also serve as a compact shrub in the landscape at large. This rose makes an exceptionally beautiful low flowering hedge, and several plants can be massed together to give it a stronger presence in a mixed planting of shrubs and flowers. Like most miniatures, ‘Jean Kenneally’ also works well as an edging.
‘Jeanne Lajoie’ Roses (Introduced – 1975) Considered by many to be the best climbing miniature rose. Aside from its vigor and good health, this rose is remarkable for the sheer number of its flowers; though individually small, as a group they cover the bush at the peak of its bloom. ‘Jeanne Lajoie’ keeps reblooming, too, throughout the growing season. The blossoms are markedly fragrant, a quality that is too often lacking among miniatures.
This rose can be cultivated as a beautiful, long-blooming low hedge or trained up a trellis or fence as a climber. If allowed to sprawl, this rose makes a most attractive ground cover.
‘Jennifer’ Roses (Introduced – 1985) Delicate light pink 1 1/2- inch flowers with a white reverse have 35 petals, hybrid tea form, and a heavy fragrance. Dark green, semi-glossy foliage covers bushy, spreading, 18- to 24-inch plants.
‘Jim Dandy’ Roses (Introduced – 1988) A successful product of amateur hybridizing, ‘Jim Dandy’ is a bright orange-red with a yellow base. Blooms are high centered, double, and 1 inch across. Medium green foliage covers the 18- to 20-inch plant.
‘Julie Ann’ Roses (Introduced – 1984) High-centered, vermilion to orange-red 1-inch flowers have 20 petals and a pleasing fragrance. Leaves are small, medium green, semi-glossy, and disease resistant, and cover bushy, 12- to 14-inch plants.
‘Kingig’ Roses (Introduced – 1987) This popular miniature produces medium-sized high-centered flowers singly or in sprays of three to five. Each double blossom has about 18 petals that are light pink with a light or dark pink reverse. As they mature, flowers fade to creamy pink. The matte leaves are medium in color and size, and canes bear slightly crooked white prickles. Hips are oval and green.
Upright ‘Kingig’ bushes can be combined attractively with other plants in borders and beds, or can be used as edgings or grown as container specimens.
‘Kristin’ Roses (Introduced – 1992) This is another miniature rose that has received commendations from growers in both North and South. The carmine-tipped white blossoms are long-lasting and borne one to a stem, making this an excellent source of very refined cut flowers.
Like many others of the more recent introductions, this miniature rose is a more robust shrub than the midgets of years past. In fact, ‘Kristin’ is the equal of many polyantha roses in size, and like them it should be regarded as a compact landscape shrub. This rose also makes an exceptional accent for a flower border, as ‘Kristin’ won’t tower over its neighbors.
‘Lavender Jewel’ Roses (Introduced – 1978) Pointed buds open into high-centered, 1-inch, slightly fragrant, clear soft lavender flowers with 35 to 40 petals. As the flowers mature, they open flat. Sometimes petals are edged in magenta. Leaves are dark green, on compact, bushy plants that grow 10- to 15- inches high and wide.
‘Linville’ Roses (Introduced – 1989) The pointed buds of ‘Linville’ rose open to double white flowers that have a touch of pink in them. As the blooms age, they become pure white, though in cool weather they tend to retain their pink tones. High-centered flowers are usually borne singly on long stems and produce a light, fruity fragrance. The leaves are medium green and semi-glossy; stems bear straight, pink prickles.
Plants are upright and tall for a miniature, with a medium growth rate. They are useful as edgings, in beds or borders, and as container specimens in a large pot. Flowers are good for cutting and exhibiting.
‘Little Jackie’ Roses (Introduced – 1982) Light, orange-red, high-centered 3/4- to 1-inch flowers with a yellow reverse have 20 petals and are very fragrant. As the blooms open, the petals reflex back to form points. Plants grow 18- to 24- inches tall and have medium green, semi-glossy foliage.
‘Littlest Angel’ Roses (Introduced – 1976) One of the finest of the microminis, ‘Littlest Angel’ has medium to deep yellow, 1/2-inch, high-centered flowers with 28 petals. The low, compact, bushy growth reaches heights of only 4- to 8- inches. ‘Littlest Angel’ rose is best grown in partial shade if grown outdoors, especially in hot climates.
‘Loving Touch’ Roses (Introduced – 1982) The apricot blooms of ‘Loving Touch’ are large for a miniature, especially in cool weather. Flowers are double with about 25 petals each and are produced in abundance, mostly one per stem. Each bloom is high centered with a light fragrance. Leaves are medium green and semi-glossy. The rose produces pretty, globular hips.
Plants are bushy and spreading, well suited to beds and borders and for use as edgings. They also are beautiful as patio and container plants. Flowers are excellent for cutting and exhibition.
‘Magic Carrousel’ Roses (Introduced – 1972) The semi-double flowers of ‘Magic Carrousel’ rose are creamy white and brightly tinged with red. This bold and attractive color combination and the fact that the rose blooms profusely have made it one of the most popular miniatures grown. Each flower is 1 3/4 to 2 inches across and bears a light scent. Leaves are small, leathery, and glossy.
‘Magic Carrousel’ has a spreading habit and should be pinched back to avoid legginess. This rose is useful in beds and borders, as an edging, and in containers. Plants are easy to grow and disease resistant. The flowers are frequently used by florists for boutonnieres.
‘Mary Marshall’ Roses (Introduced – 1970) Named for an avid amateur miniature rose grower, ‘Mary Marshall’ rose has 1 1/2-inch flowers of deep coral with pink, yellow, and orange overtones. Long lasting on the plant or as cut flowers, the slightly fragrant blooms have 24 to 30 petals and a high-centered form. The bushy, winter hardy plant grows 14 inches tall; there is also a climbing form that can reach 5 feet in height. Medium green, semi-glossy leaves have better-than-average disease resistance.
‘Minnie Pearl’ Roses (Introduced – 1982) This versatile miniature can serve as an outstanding border or edging shrub, and its small but perfectly formed blossoms make striking cut flowers.
Comfortable in a container or a window box, this rose, like the other miniatures, is perfectly suited to the needs of gardeners with small properties. ‘Minnie Pearl’ is also an excellent rose for older gardeners who find conventional roses too much of a strain on their backs: by planting this particularly compact miniature into a pot and setting it up on a waist-high wall or other support, they can take the stooping out of their rose cultivation.
‘New Beginning’ Roses (Introduced – 1988) One of the first three miniatures to win an MRS award (the others were ‘Debut’ and ‘Pride ‘n’ Joy’), ‘New Beginning’ rose has hot orange blooms with a yellow reverse. Its 1 1/2-inch very double flowers have 45 to 50 petals. Rounded plants grow 14- to 20- inches high and have disease-resistant, dark green leaves.
‘Night Hawk’ Roses (Introduced – 1989) Long lasting when cut, this variety’s 1-inch flowers have 25 petals and are high-centered in form and velvety crimson in color. Plants grow 18- to 24- inches high with deep green foliage that is bronzy green when new.
‘Nozomi’ Roses (Introduced – 1968) Although its foliage and flowers are diminutive, this rose’s canes are long, so this rose is classed as a climbing miniature. The flowers, which are borne in abundant clusters throughout most of the summer, are single, pearly pink, and star-shaped.
A spreading habit makes ‘Nozomi’ appropriate for display in a hanging basket, cascading over a wall, or climbing a trellis or other support. This rose can also be allowed to weave itself through perennials in a mixed border, and when grafted as a standard, it makes a superb tree rose. Though hardy enough for northern gardens, ‘Nozomi’ also flourishes in the Southeast.
‘Old Glory’ Roses (Introduced – 1988) Double flowers with 30 to 35 petals are 1 to 1 1/2 inches across and colored medium red with a touch of yellow at the base of the petals. The high-centered flowers are long lasting when cut and bloom prolifically over dark green leaves on 16- to 20- inch plants.
‘Over The Rainbow’ Roses (Introduced – 1972) Vigorous, bushy plants grow 14- to 18- inches high and have flowers that are red on the insides of the petals and yellow-orange on the reverse. Double blooms are high-centered, slightly fragrant, and 1 to 1 3/4 inches across, appearing above medium green, leathery leaves.
‘Pacesetter’ Roses (Introduced – 1979) Elegant pointed buds open into pure white, very double flowers with 45 to 50 petals and long cutting stems. The fragrant, high-centered flowers are 1 to 1 1/2 inches across. Disease-resistant, dark green foliage clothes this compact 18- to 24-inch bush.
‘Paper Doll’ Roses (Introduced – 1992) The light apricot flowers of ‘Paper Doll’ rose have a pale pink blush that fades first to light amber and then to white. Each semi-double bloom has 15 to 25 petals and is 1 3/4 to 2 3/4 inches across. Occurring in small clusters of three to five, blooms are plentiful throughout the growing season. They have no fragrance. Leaves are small, dark green, and glossy.
Plants are low growing but upright. They can be incorporated into a perennial border, placed in the foreground of a rose bed, or used as an edging or container plant. Their disease resistance is good.
‘Party Girl’ Roses (Introduced – 1979) ‘Party Girl’ produces long, pointed buds that open into soft apricot-yellow high-centered blooms. Borne singly or in clusters, each flower is 1 to 1 1/2 inches across and bears a pleasant, spicy fragrance. Leaves are dark green and glossy.
This miniature is bushy and compact-and very versatile. This rose makes a lovely potted plant, indoors or out, and it’s well suited for mixing into perennial borders or for edging a rose or shrub garden. The flowers are outstanding for cutting and exhibition. Plants are hardy and disease resistant.
‘Peaches ‘N’ Cream’ Roses (Introduced – 1976) Very double blooms have 50 petals and measure 1 1/2 inches across. The flowers are a blend of peachy pink and creamy white and are slightly fragrant. The form is high-centered, and the flowers repeat quickly all summer. Bushy plants grow 15- to 18- inches high, have dark green, semi-glossy foliage, and are very winter hardy.
‘Peach Fuzz’ Roses (Introduced – 1990) This variety is one of the “mossed” miniatures; as with moss roses, its buds and stems are covered with soft hairs. Buds are peachy apricot-pink and open into 1 1/2-inch fragrant flowers of the same color that have 25 to 30 petals. Rounded plants grow 14- to 20- inches tall and have glossy, disease-resistant foliage.
‘Pierrine’ Roses (Introduced – 1988) The high-centered double flowers of ‘Pierrine’ are colored medium salmon pink with a lighter reverse. Blossoms are borne singly, and each has about 40 petals. Their fragrance is reminiscent of damask roses. Leaves are medium green and semi-glossy, with serrated edges; stems bear light green curved prickles. Hips are round, and range in color from green to orange-yellow.
This plant is a moderate grower with an upright habit. Its diminutive size makes it most useful as an edging or container specimen.
‘Plum Dandy’ Roses (Introduced – 1991) The plump, pointed buds of ‘Plum Dandy’ open to cup-shaped medium lavender flowers that are a lighter shade toward the base of the petals; flowers fade to light lavender with age. Each very double bloom is 1 1/2 to 2 inches across and bears a fruity fragrance. Foliage is medium green and semi-glossy.
Plants are moderate growers. They are compact and bushy, with a somewhat spreading habit, and are useful for tucking into small places to add color to a shrub bed or perennial border. They are excellent for containers.
‘Popcorn’ Roses (Introduced – 1973) This plant’s sprays of tiny, pure white buds and flowers do indeed look like popped corn. The honey-scented, 1-inch semi-double flowers have 13 petals set off by bright yellow stamens. Winter-hardy plants grow 10- to 14- inches high and have medium green, shiny foliage.
‘Puppy Love’ Roses (Introduced – 1978) Pointed buds open in a mélange of pink, coral, and orange on 1 1/2-inch flowers. The slightly fragrant blooms have 23 petals and are almost always borne one to a stem. The leaves are dull green and disease resistant, covering compact, 15- to 18-inch plants.
‘Rainbow’s End’ Roses (Introduced – 1984) ‘Rainbow’s End’ rose produces 1 1/2- inch double flowers that are deep yellow with red petal edges. As the blooms age, they turn completely red. The flowers have the classic hybrid tea form and are nearly scentless. Leaves are small, dark, and glossy.
This miniature rose is upright and well branched, making it an excellent choice for edging a bed or walkway. This rose can also be incorporated into perennial borders and makes a fine container specimen, indoors or outside. Plants are hardy and disease resistant.
‘Razzmatazz’ Roses (Introduced – 1981) High-centered, 1- to 1 1/2-inch blooms of smoky orange-red to coral have 25 to 30 petals and appear in sprays above semi-glossy foliage on 18- to 24-inch plants.
‘Red Cascade’ Roses (Introduced – 1976) To class a 15 ft (4.5m) rose as a miniature seems ridiculous, but ‘Red Cascade’ is diminutive in everything but the length of its canes. The leaves are small, leathery, and dark green, and the flowers, which measure just an inch (2.5cm) across, are a dark, rich red. This rose is outstandingly vigorous: fast-growing and in bloom virtually all season, this rose thrives even in less than ideal circumstances. It’s equally effective as a cascading shrub or climbing a pillar or fence.
‘Red Flush’ Roses (Introduced – 1978) Oval buds open into cupped, very double flowers in light to medium red; blooms are 1 1/2 inches across with 50 to 55 petals. Dull green, disease-resistant foliage covers the compact, 16- to 20-inch plant.
‘Regine’ Roses (Introduced – 1989) Hybridized by an amateur, ‘Regine’ rose is a high-centered miniature of soft pink blended with light pink to cream on the reverses of the petals. The 1-inch flowers with 25 petals grow on rounded 14- to 20-inch plants.
‘Ring of Fire’ Roses (Introduced – 1987) Disease-resistant, 16- to 20-inch plants have 1- to 1 1/2-inch flowers of glowing yellow edged with fiery red, making the plants appear orange from a distance. Flowers are high-centered and long lasting when cut.
‘Rise ‘n’ Shine’ Roses (Introduced – 1977) The 1 1/2- to 2-inch blossoms of ‘Rise ‘n’ Shine’ rose are a bright, clear yellow, providing a dramatic contrast with foliage that is dark and glossy. The buds are long and pointed and open to high-centered flowers with 35 petals. Blossoms are borne singly or in clusters continuously throughout the summer, with a good repeat. They bear little fragrance. Plants are upright and well branched, forming a short, rounded bush. They are perfect for edgings and containers and can easily be incorporated into beds or borders. They are easy to grow and disease resistant.
‘Sequoia Gold’ Roses (Introduced – 1987) Named in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Ralph Moore’s nursery, Sequoia Nursery, ‘Sequoia Gold’ rose blooms profusely with 1 1/2- to 2-inch fragrant, medium yellow flowers that do not fade in the heat. Plants grow 14- to 18- inches high.
‘Simplex’ Roses (Introduced – 1961) Pure and simple as the name implies, ‘Simplex’ rose is a single-flowered miniature with five white petals set off by showy yellow stamens. When grown indoors or in cool, cloudy weather, the flowers have either a yellow or a pink hue. Blooms are 1 1/2 inches across on a 15- to 18-inch plant that has light green, semi- glossy foliage.
‘Snow Bride’ Roses (Introduced – 1982) ‘Snow Bride’ is a prolific bloomer with long, pointed, hybrid-tea-type buds opening to l 1/2-inch double flowers with high centers. Petals are white with just a hint of yellow, and they surround yellow stamens. Leaves are semi-glossy and dark green.
This vigorous miniature is easy to grow. Compact and well branched, it may be used as an edging or incorporated with other plants into a bed or border. ‘Snow Bride’ is also a perfect container plant. The flowers are excellent for cutting and exhibition.
‘Starglo’ Roses (Introduced – 1973) Double, off-white flowers that often develop a yellowish green tinge have 35 petals and are 1 3/4 inches across. The flowers are high-centered, with a slight fragrance. Plants grow 10- to 14- inches high and tend to sprawl along the ground, clothed in medium green foliage.
‘Starina’ Roses (Introduced – 1965) The lightly fragrant, bright orange-scarlet flowers of ‘Starina’ are touched with yellow at their base. They are double with a classic hybrid tea form; each is 1 1/2 inches across and has about 35 petals. Blooms appear continuously during the season. Foliage is small and glossy.
Plants are upright, bushy, and compact, usually about a foot tall and wide. Exceptional as a uniform edging, they are also attractive in beds and borders with perennials and shrubs, and grow well as container plants.
‘Tipper’ Roses (Introduced – 1987) Named for Tipper Gore, wife of Senator Albert Gore, Jr., of Tennessee, ‘Tipper’ rose has 1 1/2-inch, high-centered flowers of medium pink with 20 to 25 petals. Blooms usually appear one to a stem, although occasionally they will cluster. Plants grow 22- to 30- inches high.
‘Toy Clown’ Roses (Introduced – 1966) 1 1/2-inch flowers with 12 to 20 petals are white with red edges. Pointed buds open into high-centered flowers that spread out flat. Spreading 10- to 14-inch plants have dark green, red-tinged leaves.
‘Valerie Jeanne’ Roses (Introduced – 1980) Round buds open into deep magenta-pink, very double, 1 1/2-inch flowers with 55 to 60 petals. The high-centered blooms open flat and appear one to a stem or in large sprays. The 15- to 18-inch stems are covered with shiny foliage and long, straight, thin thorns.
‘Winsome’ Roses (Introduced – 1985) Deep magenta blooms are high centered, 1 1/2 to 2 inches across, with 35 to 40 petals and excellent substance. Medium to dark green, semi-glossy, disease-resistant leaves clothe vigorous 16- to 22-inch plants.
‘Zinger’ Roses (Introduced – 1978) Actually a semi-double rose with 11 petals, ‘Zinger’ rose opens so flat that it appears single. Its bright red, slightly fragrant petals are set off by yellow stamens on 1 1/2-inch blooms. Plants grow 12- to 18- inches high, with medium to dark green, glossy leaves.
Miniature Roses For the Holidays
Not so long ago, miniature roses were almost strictly the province of hobbyists, usually ones already bitten by the rose-growing bug. But now, thanks to the influence of European gardeners and nurseries, an entirely new category of miniature rose is available here. In fact, these florist or European-style minis are the type you’re most likely to encounter at supermarkets, chain stores, and discount stores. While the two types look pretty much the same to casual observers, it’s useful to understand how these florist minis compare to the familiar miniature garden roses.
Late fall is the best season to introduce yourself to florist minis. They’re widely available, they’re inexpensive, and they’re perfect for indoor holiday decorations. This article describes the kinds of miniature roses you can buy and suggests ways to use them. It also describes how to grow them indoors or in your garden.
What’s a Miniature Rose?
For the most part, miniature roses are scaled-down versions of full-sized roses, and while they vary in many ways, all mini roses have small, rarely fragrant flowers. All can be traced back to a common ancestor, the China rose (Rosa chinensis minima). Plants can range from micro-minis (5 inches or less) to 3 to 4 feet or even larger. Flowers can be anywhere from 1/2 to 2 inches across, with a color range as broad as for full-size roses.
Mini roses are naturally outdoor-tough plants. They are perfectly hardy year-round in USDA Hardiness Zones 7 through 11. Given a good cover of snow or mulch, they’ll survive winter as far north as zone 4.
Dozens of mini roses grow in my sunny Los Angeles garden. I’ve come to appreciate them for what they are: easy-to-grow perennials in almost constant bloom. I tuck them into borders, display them in containers, and cut sprays for miniature bouquets.
Mini roses also adapt remarkably well to life indoors. Unlike so many houseplants that have an extraordinary tolerance of low light and humidity, roses need plenty of bright light, such as in a bright west- or south-facing window. But for repeat bloom, you’ll need the supplementary light provided by fluorescent tubes. If light is insufficient, the plants’ stems will stretch, leaving longer spaces between leaves, a common problem called etiolation.
You’ll also have to provide some extra humidity around the plants. In winter, the air in most houses becomes abysmally dry. A water-filled tray with a layer of pebbles (to ease evaporation) is usually sufficient. Again, the plants will tell you if humidity is low; leaves will shrivel, yellow, and drop. Often spider mites will make themselves at home.
In the garden, a significant advantage of mini roses compared to their larger brethren is easy care. Most are grown on their own roots and therefore tend to be hardier and easier to prune than larger, grafted roses. Pruning minis is as simple as shearing the tops of the plants with a hedge trimmer. The best time to prune is in early summer after spring flowers fade, and again in late fall after fall flowers fade.
Florist or Garden Minis?
To make the best use of both kinds of mini roses, it’s important to know their differences. As explained above, all miniature roses have a common ancestor and so share similar genetic makeup. But through hybridization and selection, very different plants have evolved. One overly simplistic way to understand the difference between these two types of mini roses is to consider the European types as “florist” plants and the American types as “garden” plants. (Of course, there’s nothing European or American about either type, and both types are grown on both continents, but the burgeoning popularity of the florist type is a European-led phenomenon.)
Florist mini roses. The primary hybridizer of florist roses is Poulsen Roser ApS, a rose company based in Denmark. Poulsen has become so successful it claims that its varieties account for almost three-fourths of all the potted florist roses sold worldwide.
Chris Pellett, the U.S. representative for Poulsen Roser Pacific, explained to me the broad characteristics that Poulsen’s mini roses were bred for, namely suitability for greenhouse culture, long shelf life, uniform flower color and growth, proportionately larger flowers on the small plants, and durability for shipping. She added, “Gardeners should think of these pot plants as florist plants. Enjoy them inside while they bloom, but then plant them out in the garden. Or shear off spent blooms and replant into a slightly larger container using a lightweight potting soil.”
But in reality, in Europe these plants are considered disposable, much as many of us treat chrysanthemums or poinsettias. After the blooms fade, out they go.
At Poulsen Pacific, three or four cuttings are rooted in a 4-inch pot filled with a highly porous soil mix. They’re ready for sale (about $5) about three months later. This time of year, you’re likely to see Poulsen’s Parade strain, available in 18 colors. Choices include bronze ‘Apollo Parade’, pink ‘Fashion Parade’, and dark red ‘Scarlet Parade’. The Parade strain was specifically developed for indoor use in winter. These plants are somewhat more resistant to dropping their buds and leaves in low humidity, and they can also flower in winter.
Garden mini roses. Garden minis are much more diverse than the Poulsen varieties, in terms of both growth habit and suitability to indoor growing. However, it’s fair to say that they are grown much more slowly than florist minis (5 months to a year compared to 3 months), and being better established, might have a better chance of adapting to a new environment in your home. Typical garden minis have one rooted cutting to a 2-1/2-inch pot. Their price is also about $5.
The grandfather of the miniature rose business in this country is Ralph Moore, founder of Sequoia Nursery in Visalia, California. Carolyn Supinger of the nursery told me, “We always encourage our customers to enjoy their miniature roses outdoors, but we do have people, especially those in the East, who are successful if they use special growing lights and are vigilant about fighting spider mites.”
As with all houseplants, inspect them carefully for pests before bringing them indoors. This is important if you buy by mail order and intend to keep and grow the plants, or if you have many other indoor plants that you don’t want to expose to new pests.
Growing Mini Roses Indoors
Veteran gardener Ann Hooper of Reading, Massachusetts, loves roses and has filled her garden with more than 350 roses of all types, including at least 50 varieties of miniature roses. She also enjoys holiday blooms by growing dozens of 6-inch pots indoors in a specially constructed system featuring fluorescent lights. In her cellar, she has set up a custom-designed, two-tier growing table; each tier has four 4-foot fluorescent light tubes, two cool white and two warm white. She places pots in 6- to 8-inch-deep trays under the lights. Here’s what she recommends:
1. Buy new plants each season to ensure that your plants are free of diseases and pests. In November, order 2-inch potted plants from companies that specialize in miniature roses.
2. Select varieties described as good for pot forcing or suitable for containers. Many miniature roses are suitable, but those that are shorter and especially floriferous perform better.
3. When the 2-inch potted plants arrive, immediately repot each one into a 6-inch container. Use a commercial potting mixture containing perlite and vermiculite.
4. Water thoroughly, and place the pots under fluorescent lights in trays with pebbles and water in them. Never let plants dry out completely.
5. To reduce the chances of pests and diseases, bathe each plant once a week under running water, washing the undersides of leaves as well as the tops.
6. Fertilize weekly with a fertilizer diluted to one-quarter strength. To encourage blooms, select a fertilizer with a formula high in potassium, such as 5-5-10.
7. Watch carefully for any sign of pests. Spray whiteflies with a lightweight horticultural oil. If spider mites become a problem, wash plants thoroughly every 2 to 3 days. For a severe infestation of spider mites, strip all leaves and cut the plant back by half. Healthy new growth will emerge rapidly.
8. Buds should appear about 6 weeks after repotting. When the buds start to open, bring the pot into the living area to enjoy. Flowers should stay attractive and healthy for 10 to 14 days.
9. When flowering has finished, return plants to the light table and repeat the process for a second bloom cycle. Allow about 6 weeks for flowers to develop.
10. After the last frost in your area, gradually acclimate plants to outdoor air. In spring, plant them in the garden or in an outdoor container.
Los Angeles-based Karen Dardick is a rose enthusiast and a regular contributor to National Gardening.