Miniature Rose Growing Tips

Mini Rose Growing Tips

By Sue (O’Brien) Curry {Daughter of Dee Bennett}

Hybridizers and former owners of Tiny Petals Nursery


Every year, I have hundreds of people ask me how to rescue their dying mini roses that have been purchased at grocery stores or discount stores or were received as gifts. As someone who has been growing minis for almost 30 years and selling them for more than 14 years, I am concerned that folks don’t commit mini rosacide.

Here are basic guidelines for growing mini roses;

1. Minis are not houseplants!

Thousands of minis die on kitchen windowsills every year. Only with VERY SPECIAL CONDITIONS can anyone keep a miniature rose alive indoors…and those plants can never attain the vigor and beauty of outdoor grown minis.

2. Minis grow quickly…averaging knee to waist high.

That means transplant them to the ground or a much larger container immediately. A 2 to 3 gallon size pot would be appropriate for most minis.

3. Minis love the SUN!

Roses need a minimum of 4 to 6 hours of direct (in your face) sunlight every day to grow and thrive. Without the sun, they cannot bloom and may even DIE!

4. Do not put a saucer or ANY other water reservoir under your mini pot.

Minis love water…As long as they don’t have to stand in water all day. Water frequently and deeply. Flood the container or ground plant when watering but make sure the plant has drainage.

5. Minis don’t make ‘suckers’.

Most mini plants are grown on their own roots. This means that whatever new growth comes up…IS THAT PLANT!…even, if it is coming out of the ground. Only grafted plants, like tree roses, make suckers.

6. Cut old blooms off above a five-leaflet.

Don’t just snap off the bloom or let the plant form ‘hips’ (seed pod). Stems cut above a five-leaflet will continue to produce more stems and more flowers. Without this type of regular cleanup, your plant will slow down or stop making flowers altogether.

7. Don’t feed your plants immediately after transplanting.

Give them at least a month to settle in and make a bigger root system. When you do fertilize minis, use only half as much fertilizer as you would for the bigger roses and feed them no more than once per month. ‘Overfeeding’ your roses will cause your blooms to look deformed and increasing foliage growth, while slowing bloom production.

8. Always water your roses deeply a few hours before applying any chemical to your roses… insecticide, fungicide or fertilizer. This will help to prevent burning of the foliage. This tip holds true with ALL Rosebushes!

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