Would a rose by any other name still smell as sweet? How about a rose of any other size? One of the signature characteristics of roses is their appealing fragrance, and so it is a disadvantage to miniature roses that they have little or no scent.
However, they are sweet little plants, and popular with many gardeners. They work well in container gardening, or many people bring them indoors. What beginning gardeners may not realize is that miniature roses can grow up to four feet tall, and what they might want are the micro minis, which grow up to 5 inches tall. Many also do not know how to care for miniature roses.
Growing miniature roses, like growing any rose or rose bush, requires a lot of sunlight, good soil, and water. Miniature roses, if kept indoors, should be kept near a window where the plant receives as much sunlight as possible each day. If the plant is not receiving enough natural light, an artificial light can be purchased. Roses respond well to light, and will repay a gardener who gives them a lot of light with a lot of flowers.
Pot the miniature rose in a good size pot. If the pot is too small, the root system cannot grow or there wonít be enough soil to hold the water, and the plant will not grow. If the pot is too big, the plant will not grow either, and water may not drain or be used up fast enough. Starting with a six inch pot should be good. Fill the pot with potting soil, which can be bought in a bag, and combine it with a bit of some type of fertilizer.
Under the pot, there should be a small dish to catch the water that drains from the soil. Be sure that the water is draining from the soil. Empty the dish if it gets full, as plants should not be left in standing water, and allow the soil to dry a bit before watering again.
As with regular sized roses, miniature roses are susceptible to diseases. To prevent a disease such as Black Spot, keep the leaves of the rose dry and do not over water. However, if the leaves become too dry, they may be susceptible to Powdery Mildew. Itís best to make sure the air has some moisture, perhaps by leaving a cup of water next to the plant. If a miniature rose does get a disease, simply snip off any affected areas as carefully as possible, to avoid allowing the fungus to spread. Make sure not to put the diseased plant material in your compost.
A problem which is encountered both indoors and outdoors is aphids and spiders. For roses which are potted, simply pick up the pot, plant and all, take it to the sink, and spray off the insects. Be sure to angle the pot so that the leaves are sprayed without spraying the soil. This is best to do in the morning, so that the plant can be put out in the hot sun to dry. Outside, simply wait until a hot day, and spray off any insects with a hose.
Another part of taking care of roses is pruning. Pruning miniature roses must be done slowly, as a miniature rose is not a bonsai. Carefully trim any dead branches or buds, as well as any extra branches that seem to be trying to escape the pot.
Miniature roses add beauty and texture to a rose bed, their smaller size adding interest and contrast. They are also great as indoor plants, adding color and life to any room of the house.