June 25, 2016


Green scene: miniature roses

Plant: Miniature rose

Latin name: Rosa

Description: The rose has been cultivated in the garden for thousands of years. The perennial miniature rose has similar but very tiny rose-like features, and they can bloom indoors during winter. Hardy, woody branches grow like the traditional rose and have the same bushy or climbing appearance. The leaves, shaped like pointed ovals, come in various shades of green.
But leaves, roses and branching also vary with variety.

Miniature roses come as climbers (some several feet tall), trailers (good for pots), micro-minis (grow about a foot tall) and minifloras (a bit larger than micros). Solid colors are available, but hybridizing has allowed miniroses to come in shades of blush to vibrant types and roses with multiple colors upon a single bloom.

Characteristics: Miniature roses are quite small, some only about a ¼-inch across. The leaves stay fairly small, too, but unlike most classic roses, mini roses are quite prolific. Some roses can bloom many weeks of the year under proper conditions. Bush-style roses will grow up to about 3 feet tall. Climbers can grow taller. Still, miniatures can stay compact and are easy to care for. White, yellow, pink, orange, red, apricot, coral, mauve — many mini rose colors are popular thanks to hybrid roses. Plus, gorgeous blossoms with dark edging or multi-hued petals are very beautiful. In the past, mini roses, like many other hybrids, didn’t have much scent, but more and more hybrids now are grown with more fragrance.

Origin: The rose, symbolic of love and beauty, is native to Asia and belong to the Rosaceae family. Today, wild roses can be found throughout the Northern Hemisphere.

Tips: Roses are happy when encouraged to grow healthy. To achieve this, prune early in springtime before the rose begins to develop new branches; remove dead or broken woody ends. Prune about a third of the plant to keep proper shape. Begin to fertilize as recommended. Watch closely for any infestation of insects like aphids, spider mites and Japanese beetles. Look for signs of disease such as spots on leaves, wilting, powdery leaves or overall unhealthy appearance. Be sure roses have even moisture, but good drainage and proper air circulation among other plants. Overcrowded roses tend to become unhealthy.

Varieties: Rosa “Happy Thoughts,” “Pennies From Heaven” and “Leading Lady.” For more fragrant mini roses, try “Red Scentsation,” “Constellation,” “Sachet,” “Sunny Day,” “Busy Bee” and “Snowfall” (climber, up to 12 feet tall). “Green Ice” (trailing). Micro-mini “Chasin’ Rainbows” is a bush-style yellow with red edges. Miniflora: “Moonlight Scentsation” comes in light purple and grows to about 3 feet.

How to use: Miniature roses are in bloom now! Even in the cold months of winter, miniature roses often are available in pots. Check your local grocer’s floral department, nursery or favorite catalogs. In Ohio’s zone 5, a good time to plant a miniature rose is about April through June, depending on weather conditions.

Find a sheltered, but sunny spot for your rose plant or garden. To plant, measure the pot size and dig the hole as deep as the pot and about 1 foot larger in width. Gently loosen the rose’s roots and tuck into the soil. It’s always a good idea to have your soil tested and amended before planting. Gently firm the soil around the plant. Water well. Use rose fertilizer as recommended. Omit fertilizer about eight weeks before frosts occur.

When growing indoors, mini roses still need plenty of sunshine and humidity, too. Plant outdoors as soon as weather permits.
Small roses, like traditional roses, are great for drying. Try drying at different stages of growth: new buds, semi-opened buds and open roses. Air-drying in a dry room will work, but a bowl of silica gel works nicely on open roses as it maintains shape and colors. Dry petals by gently removing and placing in an old, heavy phone book.

Also, mini roses make wonderful petite displays when placed in small vases, tea cups or other little containers; keep in a cool room and change water (distilled water prolongs blooms) daily.