Miniature roses have all the same features we love about their larger counterparts – beautiful flowers and fragrance – but “packaged” in a plant that is sized just right for growing in a pot indoors or out. The petit flowers and foliage of miniature roses perfectly replicate larger rose varieties.
The origin of miniature roses is a little hazy. Some sources suggest that miniature roses began as a natural mutation found in nature, while others give credit to a “happy accident” that occurred through hybridization. These days miniature roses are specifically bred to expand the range of colors, fragrance, flower forms, hardiness, and plant size. You can find plants with blooms in many shades of red, pink, yellow, white, orange, lavender and many with flowers that are a blend of two colors.
Miniature roses are often found side by side with cut flower bouquets – enticing you to gift a sick friend or celebrate a loved one, but don’t overlook them as an instant home décor accessory for yourself! Buy one or several, then get your mini-rose glam on with these tips:
Miniature Rose Décor Tips
- Plant one into a container with English ivy at its base.
- Display a single plant where its simple beauty can shine uncluttered.
- Group several of them together, but each in a sleek pot of a differing height.
- Tuck one into a seasonal centerpiece.
- Choose different bloom colors to suit the season, your decor colors or your mood.
- Place some among broad-leaved plants that serve as a backdrop for the rose blooms.
Miniature Rose Care Tips
Mini Rose Light Requirements
The majority of an indoor rose’s daylight hours should be in bright light for all of the buds to burst into beautiful bloom. Don’t be afraid to shift it to the dimly lit dining room as a centerpiece for the evening, just place it back in the light during the day. Miniature roses grow best when they get six to eight hours of sunlight each day.
Mini Rose Watering
Allow the soil surface to dry before giving a thorough watering. Avoid getting water on the leaves.
Mini Rose Soil Needs
It’s best to pot your miniature rose using fresh, sterile, commercial potting mix. Miniature roses are susceptible to the same pests and diseases as larger roses so starting with clean potting soil will give your plant the best start when repotting. Use a pot with a drainage hole. A miniature rose left too frequently in standing water can eventually develop root rot.
Mini Rose Temperature & Humidity
Miniature roses will tolerate a wide range of temperatures indoors and don’t require enhanced air humidity. If you like to pamper your plants, a light daily misting with water on the surface and undersides of the leaves can help deter spider mites, a common rose pest, and will enhance air humidity around the plant.
If you are growing potted miniature roses outdoors, you should be aware that they are more susceptible to damage from freezing temperatures than plants in the ground. The thin layer of a pot is all that stands between the roots and the cold, leaving the roots more vulnerable to damage.
To get potted roses through freezing winters it’s best to put them in a location that provides some protection from cold winds, such as along a wall, fence, or the foundation of a house. You could wrap the top of the plant with burlap to give it some cold protection. You could also set the pot partially in the ground for the winter and mound leaves or mulch around the base for added root protection.
Mini Rose Fertilizer
Your miniature rose will grow and bloom best with regular fertilization. Using a commercial rose food will provide the optimum balance of nutrients to promote flowering but an all-purpose feed for houseplants will do as well.
Rose fertilizers come in many forms; granular, liquid and slow release. Apply the fertilizer according to the package directions. If your miniature rose is outdoors, start withholding fertilizer about six weeks before frost is expected
. This will discourage a flush of tender new growth at a time when you want your plant to start winding down for winter dormancy. Delicate new growth could be killed when freezing temperatures set in.
Pruning Miniature Roses
Occasional pruning may be needed to keep your miniature rose healthy and tidy. Cut out dead stems and always be sure to remove any leaves that drop on the soil surface. Note that some leaf loss is to be expected as new foliage emerges and older leaves drop off.
You can also prune your miniature rose plant to maintain a preferred size or shape. Always make your pruning cut just above a leaf node. That’s an area for active growth, where new foliage will emerge. Any stem left above the bud line will likely just die back.
Miniature Indoor Rose Problems
Miniature roses are subject to the same pests and diseases as standard-size roses, and they can be treated with the same products for pest and disease control. Always be sure to follow the product directions on how to safely apply treatments and how often.
Spider mites, aphids, and thrips are the most common insect pests that can damage miniature roses. For help identifying pests on your indoor miniature rose, have a look at our information on Common Houseplant Pests
to find photos for comparison and tips for control.
Black spot and powdery mildew are the most common diseases that affect indoor miniature roses. Miniature roses grown outdoors are also at risk of those diseases and others. To learn more about rose diseases and outdoor pests see our list of 8 Common Rose Problems and How to Fix Them
When Miniature Rose Blooming Ends
Once blooming stops or you simply tire of them, miniature roses are inexpensive enough to be disposed of without feeling guilty. Re-bloom is possible, but requires supplemental lighting, pruning and fertilizing to keep your miniature rose thriving indoors. Miniature roses are happiest growing outdoors, in a pot or in the ground.
Repotting Miniature Roses
If you decide to keep your miniature rose, repot it in a slightly larger container with fresh potting soil. You can keep your rose plant displayed indoors or move it outdoors when the weather is warm. If temperatures stay above -20°F (-29°C) in your area, then the rose may be planted in the ground and should survive over the winter.
Have you had success with growing mini roses? Share your tips for success in the comment section below.