Tips on Maintaining Miniature Roses

Miniature roses can be a gardener's delight, whether in the flowerbed, as a tree with abundant blossoms or in suspended or standing containers. With care and garden conditions like those suitable for full-sized roses, small roses will yield many more flowers for a variety of decorative purposes.

Preparation for Planting Miniature Roses

Scout the location for your miniature roses immediately after the soil is fully thawed. A sunny location for the miniature rose bushes is a must, preferably the west or north side of the garden, with little shade. Check the soil in the plot you intend for your small roses carefully. You will need nutrient-rich loam with balanced moisture, through which rainfall can drain quickly. If your soil has a high clay percentage, consider creating a raised flowerbed, through which water can percolate away from roots. Miniature roses will thrive on soil composts made with peat moss, leaf mould or mushrooms. Your local garden center will have these available, or can obtain them for you.

Planting Miniature Roses

Dig a deep hole for the miniature rose, and insert at the bottom about 1 oz. (30 ml) of either super phosphate or bone meal. Remove the miniature rose carefully from its pot. Place the miniature rose's root ball an inch lower in the hole than it was in its germinating pot. Add soil loosely to ground level, and water well, so the soil settles around the roots.  

The small roses also can prosper in containers, where their bright colors and elegant shapes will enhance the terrace, pathways and patio area. Use a soil that crumbles well and permits water to seep out effectively. Container soil should include, in proportions of 1/3 each, garden soil, peat moss for garden flowers, and perlite or coarse sand. Add water to the containers often, from a slow-flowing watering pot, as the soil will dry out more quickly than in a flowerbed.

Fertilizing Miniature Roses

The "small, frequent servings" method is best for providing nutrition to miniature roses. Wait two weeks before providing any fertilizer to the newly relocated rose bushes. Alternate two types, to ensure a balance of nutrients. Choose a fish emulsion, followed by a soluble fertilizer specifically designed for roses, such as 20-20-20. Following the directions, apply these at half-strength biweekly for eight weeks. After this period, stop the fertilizer dosages completely. This allows the small roses to strengthen themselves for winter.

Maintaining Miniature Roses

Like their larger kin, miniature roses should be pruned, trimmed and deadheaded to keep up a steady bloom rate. The dead blooms, dry twigs and excess foliage should be carefully removed with sharp gardening shears or scissors, to minimize damage to the supporting structure of the rose bushes. Allow the miniature roses one full winter and spring of rest before beginning a routine pruning and trimming program.

Use an appropriate fungicide to prevent fungus, a common ailment of roses, at regular intervals. Get advice from an expert at the garden center on products authorized for use in your region.