What are Miniature Rose Bushes?:
There are countless rose lovers around the world and most of us have our own preferences about the types of roses we grow in our gardens. Miniature roses are just what the name implies, scaled own versions of your favorite roses. You will discover a little bit of disagreement on some growers' perceptions of what exactly constitutes a miniature rose. Some will say that any variety that has smaller blooms is a miniature, while others will say it's more about the height the plant grows to.
The answer lies somewhere in the middle. Miniature rose bushes will typically have both small blooms and a short stature, truly living up to their namesake. Many times these types of roses will be grown in containers and used as outdoor decorations on porches and patios. Miniature roses often are very hardy, vigorous growers that tend to bloom profusely. So what these smaller roses lack in size, they more than make up for in performance. And who was it that said bigger is always better?
Growing Miniature Rose Bushes:
Miniature roses will require much the same growing conditions as their larger brothers and sisters. They will require a lot of sun light to keep up with all the blooms they are going to produce. You should try to give them at least 6 to 8 hours each day of direct sun light but more is always better. Some varieties can survive in partial shade but almost always, roses will perform better if planted and grown in full sun.
You also should grow your miniature rose bushes in a location that gets good airflow through your garden. Proper airflow is often an overlooked consideration for many growers, however this is one of those issues that can make or break the success of your roses. Roses that are too sheltered from prevailing winds often stay wet for long periods of the day. Roses will stay healthier if their leaves are dry and not subjected to constant moisture. Too much moisture often leads to diseases such as blackspot and mildew. You can also help prevent these diseases by always watering your roses at the base rather than from the top down. Roses also should be grown in well drained soil.
Planting Miniature Rose Bushes:
Planting your miniature roses is not terribly difficult and in some respects, their small size actually makes the process easier. The first thing I always suggest to growers before planting roses is to take a trip to their local garden center to pick up a bag of a good organic compost. When you dig your hole, mix the compost in with the soil at a ratio of 1 part compost for every 2 parts soil. This is a great mix for most plants and roses especially love it.
If you bought your miniature rose bushes from an online supplier, there's a good chance they shipped them to you as a bareroot plant. You should first soak these overnight in a bucket of lukewarm water prior to planting day. Then dig a hole that is as wide as the longest roots on the plant, and deep enough to allow you to set the plant atop a mound of soil, and still keep the bud union about an inch or two below the surface of the soil. Back fill the hole only halfway to start and give it a good heavy watering until the soil flows around the roots like mud. You can then back fill the rest of the way and be sure to top off any final settling that may occur. This method should ensure that no air pockets have formed around the roots.
If you picked up your miniature roses locally in a container, these are the easiest to plant. Dig your hole at least twice the diameter of the container and equally as deep. This will keep the bud union at the same depth it was originally planted.
Caring for Miniature Rose Bushes:
Taking care of your miniature roses is pretty straight forward. If you are growing them in a container then you will need to pay careful attention to the moisture level as roses will dry out quicker in containers. If you are unsure if your roses need watered, stick your finger into the soil at the base of the plant. If it comes out wet then you do not need to water it. If you are growing your roses in a flowerbed then a good rule of thumb is to provide them with one deep watering per week.
You should give your miniature rose bushes a dose of an all-purpose granular fertilizer in early spring when the leaves start to open. This will give them a quick boost to start the new growing season. Since most of the varieties of miniature roses are repeat bloomers, they will benefit greatly from several additional feedings throughout the year. I will usually give my roses a second feeding right after the first big bloom and then a third feeding around the middle of summer.
Pruning Miniature Rose Bushes:
You should prune your miniature roses in the early spring before the leaves start to open up. Start off by cutting away all the dead and discolored canes. Then start pruning back any lateral canes that overlap one another as these will eventually compete for sun light when the leaves fully open. Lastly, cut back the remaining canes about one third of their current height to encourage new growth.
This is also the time to clean up around the base of your miniature rose bushes and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that may have collected there over the winter. You should throw away all this material in the trash, along with your cuttings. Never let this material lay around your roses as decaying matter can turn into a breeding ground for various pests and diseases. I always finish up my pruning by giving my roses a fresh layer of mulch to begin the new season.
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