MINI ROSES

Valentine’s Day often brings roses to mind.  The beautiful little pots of roses found in the garden center or grocery store florist section are usually seen as temporary flowering pot plants to give as gifts or use as a centerpiece for a special occasion and then discard when the blooms fade.  With a little work, these pretty flowering shrubs can be kept inside for weeks, and then transplanted to the garden.

Miniature roses and the newer Miniflora roses have smaller flowers, are winter hardy, and may grow anywhere from two to four feet in height.  They can be grown outdoors in containers or planted out in the garden.  They can also be enjoyed inside temporarily in a very sunny window or under grow lights.  Adequate light is critical to flowering, and good air circulation is critical to the prevention of fungal diseases so common in roses, so keep some space between pots.  Create needed humidity by setting the pots on saucers or trays filled with moist pebbles (water should be kept just below the top of the pebbles.)

Roses are thirsty plants, so check for water needs regularly.  Depending upon the size of the container, allow the soil to dry down about a half inch to an inch between thorough waterings, and make sure the roots do not stand in water.  Once transplanted outdoors, fertilize plants regularly spring and summer.

Miniature roses need little pruning other than the snipping off of spent flowers.  Yellow leaves may indicate dry air, dry soil, or lack of light, and watch for dark fungal spots on leaves.  Roses will also drop their leaves when trying to go dormant for the winter.  Miniature roses growing outside may need dead or rubbing branches removed, or a light pruning for shaping.  Make cuts on a 45⁰ angle just above a leaf axil.

Inside in dry conditioned air, roses will be susceptible to spider mites, identified by a greyish stippling of the leaves or even very fine webbing.  Mites and their webs can be controlled with regular strong sprays of water from your kitchen sink spray hose.

For years I used climbing miniature roses in containers to block easy access to a street level window…it would be a brave burglar who was willing to fight all of those thorny branches!
Posted: 2/12/2015 by Margot | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: MargotGunn, TheGreatIndoors
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