Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a fine miniature rose. These little fellows are real roses, just like their bigger relatives. You can expect the same dependable blooming habits, the same show of many colors, and the same versatility in using them in the garden. You can also expect the same care requirements, such as adequate water, control against pests, and a good growing media, reinforced with a well-balanced fertilizer. Follow these few suggestions and you will be enjoying your "minis" for a long time.
Location: Always give these roses a location in the full sun, with a bare minimum of four hours a day. The closer you display them to eye level the more you will be able to enjoy them; so a raised planter would be ideal. Other locations could be; in a rock garden, on a hillside or mound, even in a hanging basket, or as a tubbed plant on a patio. Get them up close so they can be seen and enjoyed to the fullest. If you like to grow plants indoors, then I heartily recommend that you follow the directions of such experts as Charles Marden Fitch in his excellent book on miniature roses, "The Complete Book of Miniature Rose."
Watering: Probably the most important aspect of caring for your miniature rose is its constant need for adequate water. Because it has such a fine root system it is necessary to make sure the plant does not have a period of drought. Daily watering is recommended, especially for container plants.
Soil Mixtures: Eventually you will either plant your new rose in the ground, or move it to a large container. A good soil mix is one that will allow those fine roots to continue to grow easily. Moisture retention is very important to remember. Use any commercial planting mix, but supplement it with some peat moss or vermiculite to help on the moisture retention. Be sure your mixture is well dampened before you put the rose into it. Take extra care for about a week until you transplanted rose has adjusted to its new home. Mulching always helps to protect the roots and prevents the soil from drying out too quickly.
Fertilizing: All rose respond better if fertilized frequently. Miniature rose like a feeding of any balanced fertilizer about once every 3 or 4 weeks. A liquid type is usually more useful to the plant immediately, but don't make the solution too strong. A slow release fertilizer like "Osmocote" is recommended once or twice a year.
Pest Control: All roses are subjected to diseases and insect attacks at some time or other. Prevention is the recommended method of control, especially when it comes to diseases. Again, it is recommended that you check a good rose reference book for you specific problem, and the recommended method of control. Always have your plant well watered before you spray however.
Pruning: Your rose can be pruned at any time of the year. You actually do this whenever you pick a flower. Don't allow long branches to develop on their own, but rather, keep the plant shaped as it grows. Remember, that by removing dead flowers as they occur you insure more continuous blooming. When your plant lose its leaves in the winter, do some heavy pruning by removing about 1/3 to 1/2 of the thinner branches, and cut the others back about the same amount. Sharp pruning will ensure good blooms the following year, because this will stimulate new growth, and the rose blooms on this new growth.
Protection: You will find that your miniature rose is very hardy and does not need any winter protection in this area. Do not fret over your rose! Enjoy it! With reasonable care of those things I have mentioned you will soon find that you have a very enjoyable plant, a great conversation piece, and a welcome addition to your garden or home. The more you get to know their habits, the more you will want to own other varieties. Soon you will find yourself with a new hobby, and maybe even a small collection. After all, I started with only one miniature rose a few years ago and now I have dozens of varieties.
By John Dallas
Born: June 9, 1918 ~ Died: February 27, 2000