I’ve always had a soft spot for miniature roses. For one thing, they are usually very inexpensive….you can pick up plants very cheaply at your local nursery. Often only a couple of dollars each.
There is also the fact that miniatures are grown on their own roots. None of those problems associated with grafter varieties. No weak bud unions, infected root stock and so on. Yes, miniatures have a lot going for them. It’s true that many of them are (to put it politely) a little light on frangrance, but I suppose we can’t have everything.
But I think it’s the fact that I can keep them in a pot inside over winter that appeals most to me. With a bit of care and attention, I can have indoor roses blooming.
Miniature roses come in all colors. Reds, yellows, white, multi colored. And all styles, from single flowers, to full doubles. Every detail is a replica of their full sized cousins.
Breed You Own Miniature Roses
If you enjoy breeding your own roses, then minis make a great addition to your breeding program. There is a misconception that they are hard to breed. This is NOT true! While many miniatures don’t make good seed roses, most are fine when providing the pollen.
So it’s best if you use the minis as the pollenator, and cross them with your climbers, floribundas, and shrub roses. If you do that, and cross a miniature with a climber, what are you likely to produce? A mini, or a climber, or something in between?
Well, the mini gene is generally dominant, so you can expect 90% of the progeny to be miniatures! And the great thing about using them in this way, is that you will usually see flowers in the first year. This doesn’t happen with the larger roses… it can be 2-3 years before they bloom.
For those that want to get free miniature roses, they grow very readily on their own roots. That means you can strike cuttings, with a high success rate. Some of the more highly bred roses, such as Hybrid Teas often won’t do so well when taken as cuttings. But with miniatures, you will find that the majority of plants you buy in your local nursery or garden center have been started on their own roots.
Care of Your Miniature Roses
Minis pretty much look after themselves. Once they have finished flowering, prune them HARD. I prune mine back to 2-3 inches in height, leaving just a few buds. They seem to like this, and will always produce good vigorous growth in spring.
About the only other thing you need to do, is keep an eye open for aphids during the summer. These can just be rubbed off. Most minis are pretty hardy, and you will find that you don’t get too much trouble with the other rose diseases, such as rust, mildew, and blackspot