Miniature roses are true roses, bred to stay small in size. Most mini roses also have smaller flowers than standard rose bushes, but they come in a variety of types and colors. Despite their small size, miniature roses are extremely hardy. In fact they are more winter hardy than most tea roses. Miniatures also tend to be profuse repeat bloomers. Miniature roses work well in a border and are especially nice as specimen plants or edgers.
Miniflora - An American Rose Society classification for newly developed mini roses that have a slightly larger plant and bloom size than miniature roses. Average plant size is 2 ½ - 4 ½ feet. Plant and treat miniature roses the same as you would full size roses.
Dig a hole the same depth as the pot the rose came in and about a foot wider. Carefully remove the rose from the pot and gently loosen the roots. If the plant is tightly root bound, use a sharp knife to score the sides of the root ball and try again to loosen the roots. Add some organic matter to the soil in hole, if needed. Place the rose bush in the center of the hole, with the roots spread out. Fill in the hole and firm gently. Thoroughly water the newly planted bush and then apply a layer of mulch.
Roses can be heavy feeders and since mini roses continue blooming all season, regular fertilizing is essential. Use any commercial rose food or general purpose fertilizer, according to label instructions. Feed when the bush first leafs out. Feed after each heavy flush of bloom. Stop feeding about 6 - 8 weeks before the first expected frost.
How much water your rose bush will require depends on your soil and weather. A general rule of thumb is to provide at least an inch of water each week. During hot, dry spells you will need to water more frequently. Be sure to water deeply, so that the soil is wet at least 12 - 18 inches below the surface. Avoid getting the leaves wet during humid weather, to discourage fungal diseases.
Although mini roses do quite well in containers and you often see them sold as houseplants, many gardeners are disappointed by their performance indoors. As roses, they need full sun and good humidity. These are easy enough to provide in summer, but humidity drops considerably when the heat comes on indoors and roses will quickly become desiccated. Mini roses given as gifts will do best if transplanted outdoors. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa