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Miniature Roses: All You Need to Know About Care, Growth & More

Miniature roses, also known as micro roses, are a miniature variety within the rose family. They belong to the perennial root-flowering plants of the Rosaceae family. Due to their small branches and button-like buds, they are aptly named “miniature roses” or “pocket roses”. These petite plants can bloom with 30-50 flowers at the same time, […]

Miniature roses, also known as micro roses, are a miniature variety within the rose family. They belong to the perennial root-flowering plants of the Rosaceae family.

Due to their small branches and button-like buds, they are aptly named “miniature roses” or “pocket roses”. These petite plants can bloom with 30-50 flowers at the same time, showcasing a stunningly beautiful display.

Not only can they be used as ground cover to decorate flower beds, edge flower beds, adorn lawns, and layout floral patterns, they can also be used to create miniature hedges for flower beds, or be displayed indoors to beautify residential homes, adding a touch of elegance to living rooms. They are widely loved by the public.

Basic Introduction

Miniature roses are a micro variety within the rose family, named for their small branches and button-like buds, hence the names “miniature rose” or “pocket rose”. They belong to the perennial root-flowering Rosaceae family, and each plant can simultaneously bloom with 30-50 flowers of various shapes and vivid colors.

They are ideal for decorating gardens, flower beds, roadside flower landscapes, and lawns. They can also be used as potted plants to beautify residences and living rooms, and are widely loved by the public.

Growth and Distribution

Growing Environment

Studies have found that longer exposure to sunlight under the same temperature differences (30°C day/21°C night, 21°C day/10°C night) can make miniature roses bloom earlier and increase the number of flowers, making the plant more compact and beautiful. The ideal temperature for miniature roses is around 20-21°C during the day and 16-18°C at night.

High temperatures can make the roses bloom earlier, while low temperatures can delay flowering, especially when the temperature is lower than 13°C. When the temperature exceeds 24°C, the net photosynthesis rate of the plant will decrease.

Too much water can cause leaf yellowing, shedding, root reduction, and other phenomena. Plants with insufficient water are hard to recover, and in the case of excessive fertilization, lack of water can easily cause soluble salt damage.

Morphology and Characteristics

Learn About the Miniature Rose: Basics, Growth & Care, Value and More

Miniature roses are perennial dwarf shrubs with upright stems. The plant generally does not exceed 30 cm in height and has many branches. The plant crown is usually umbrella-shaped or spherical. The stem diameter of the plant is often less than 0.4 cm, with short internodes, and there are often hook-shaped spines on the stem and its branches.

The plant has odd-pinnate leaves, arranged in a whorl, with 3-5 leaflets, opposite or terminal, broad ovate to ovate-elliptical, 1.5-2.0 cm long, and the leaflets have serrated edges without hair. The leaves are short and often have spines and glandular hairs at the base.

There are stipules, and glandular hairs are often found on the edges of the stipules. The tiny flowers, about 2.5cm in diameter, bloom several times a year, are densely clustered, often arranged in umbels. The flowers come in a variety of forms, primarily double and single petal varieties.

The colors are diverse, including single, double, inter, variegated, complex, and mixed colors. The fruit is a rose hip, oval to spherical, 0.5-1.0 cm long, orange or red. The natural flowering period is from early April to early November, with a single flowering period of 10-30 days.

Biological Characteristics

Miniature roses prefer warm, fertile, well-lit environments. They are not sensitive to the photoperiod, but strong light is not conducive to bud development. They require well-ventilated and well-drained environmental conditions.

The soil requirements are not strict, but loose and breathable soil, rich in organic matter, with a pH of 5.5-6.0 is ideal. The suitable growing temperature during the day is 15-26°C, and at night, it is 10-15°C.

Cultivation Method

Learn About the Miniature Rose: Basics, Growth & Care, Value and More

Preparation of Cultivating Soil

Miniature roses, due to their numerous branches, large bloom volume, and extended flowering period, need a substantial amount of fertilizer.

Consequently, the requirement for potting soil is relatively high. It should be fertile, high in organic matter, and the potting soil must be loose with good drainage. The cultivation soil mixture can be garden soil, pond mud, peat soil, and fine cinders in a ratio of 3:3:3:1, or peat soil, perlite, and river sand in a ratio of 1:1:1.

The cultivation soil should be composted and sprayed with a mixture of 80% dichlorvos emulsion and 50% carbendazim WP at 500 times dilution to control disease and pests before potting. A small amount of cake fertilizer added at the bottom of the pot at potting time is beneficial.

Potting, Planting, and Water and Fertilizer Management

Select robust plants with developed root systems and no disease or pest damage for potting and planting. After planting, water thoroughly once, and place it in a cool place or cover with a film or shade net for 2 to 3 days.

It’s not advisable to water or fertilize within 2 to 3 days after planting. In high temperatures, lift the film at noon for ventilation and cooling. After 2 to 3 days, remove the film or shade net and gradually move it to the sunlight.

After planting Miniature roses, fertilizer and water should not be excessive, stick to the principle of “more steps, frequent thin fertilization”.

Water and fertilize every 7 to 10 days, extend during the rainy season, mainly depending on the moisture condition of the potting soil. The soil should be moist but not rotten, avoid water accumulation.

Also, beware of high temperature and humidity to prevent excessive vegetative growth or root rot or leaf yellowing or pest infestation.

After the Miniature roses show buds, apply a mixture of 2% urea and dipotassium phosphate or fermented soybean cake water as foliar fertilizer once a week, avoid pouring manure water to prevent yellowing and falling leaves.

Fertilize in autumn should not be too late to prevent excessive autumn shoot growth, which affects flowering and does not lignify in time, which is not conducive to overwintering.

Repotting and Pruning

Learn About the Miniature Rose: Basics, Growth & Care, Value and More

After a period of growth, the pot is not only full of roots, but the nutrients in the soil are also exhausted, and the soil becomes compacted, which is not conducive to the continued good growth of Miniature roses.

Therefore, it is best to repot once before the buds sprout in early spring every 1 to 2 years. When repotting, pay attention to prune some old roots. If not repotting, peel off the top 3 to 4 cm of soil and put some soybean cake fertilizer or chicken and duck manure as the base fertilizer in January to February each year.

Since mini roses only bloom on the current year’s branches, strong winter pruning is one of the keys to ensuring robust shoot growth. Pruning is usually carried out in late December.

When pruning, remove diseased branches, weak branches, crossing branches, parallel branches, and vigorous branches. Retain 6 to 8 strong branches of the current year and buds at the base, and reasonably distribute the crown shape.

Strengthening the prevention and control of pests and diseases

Common diseases and pests of mini roses include powdery mildew, black spot disease, rust, and aphids. Comprehensive measures should be adopted for disease control, strengthen cultivation management, promote plant growth, and enhance disease resistance.

Sweep fallen leaves in winter, prune diseased branches and leaves, and incinerate in concentration to reduce the initial infection source. Spray a 3 to 4 times dilution of polyoxin before budding.

During the powdery mildew period, you can alternately spray 70% methyl tobujin wettable powder or 50% carbendazim wettable powder or 50% prochloraz wettable powder at 800 times dilution or 20% rust ning wettable powder at 3000 to 4000 times dilution or 0.3 to 0.5 times dilution of polyoxin compound. Spray once every 7 to 10 days, and spray 3 to 4 times in succession.

During the early stages of rust disease, spray with a 0.3 to 0.5 permethrin stone sulfur mixture.

During the outbreak, choose a 25% rust-preventive wettable powder diluted 1500 to 2000 times or a rust-resistant sodium wettable powder diluted 250 to 300 times mixed with 0.1% laundry detergent or a 0.2 to 0.4 permethrin stone sulfur mixture. Spray every 10 to 15 days, three to four times in total.

For black spot disease, start spraying protective medications when new leaves have just opened, typically every 7 to 10 days, twice a week during rainy periods, and continue until winter.

Medications include a 50% carbendazim wettable powder diluted 800 times, a 75% chlorothalonil wettable powder, or an 80% tebuconazole wettable powder diluted 500 times.

Aphids mainly damage tender leaves, young shoots, and flower buds, causing them to dry out, twist and fall off. Comprehensive measures should be taken for prevention and control.

First, strengthen the management of fields and courtyards, remove weeds, and eliminate overwintering eggs and nymphs.

During the aphid outbreak, spray with 40% dimethoate emulsion or 40% acephate emulsion diluted 1000 to 1500 times, or 2.5% cyhalothrin emulsion diluted 3000 to 4000 times (be sure to spray to the back of the leaves).

Reproduction Methods

Learn About the Miniature Rose: Basics, Growth & Care, Value and More

The main varieties of miniature roses include: Dwarf Fairy (red), Golden Sun (yellow with white edge), Rose Tree (mixed color), Merlin Honorary (carmine with silver light), Magic (red), Why Not (yellow with rose red edge), Clarissa (apricot yellow), Cricket (carmine core), Ruby (black red), Sun Girl (golden yellow with orange red), Winter Mei (pale pink white), Freedom Gold (gold), Little Girl (deep red with silver light), and so on, with many color options.

Cultivation methods include: sowing, cutting, grafting, dividing, layering, and tissue culture. The most common and convenient methods are cutting and budding.

Cutting propagation

Generally, it is suitable in April to May or September to October. Under the condition of misting, it can be carried out all year round. The cutting bed should be selected in a ventilated, shady area, with a flat terrain, deep soil layer, fertile and loose soil, and good drainage. River sand, perlite, peat soil, or fine coal slag are better substrates.

The bed should be about 1m wide and about 25cm high, with drainage ditches and cleared of debris. Home growers can use a packing wooden box about 50cm high, filled with 30 to 40cm thick culture soil (the culture soil should be spread and disinfected with medicine before use), and placed in a sunny and ventilated place.

The cutting bed can be disinfected with 2% ferrous sulfate or 0.5% potassium permanganate. The cuttings should be taken from high-quality, robust plants without pests or diseases.

Choose cuttings from the upper middle part of the plant that grew that year, with short internodes facing the sun, and full buds with heels. Short branches that have not flowered or are about to flower are preferable.

Do not choose branches that are about to flower or have excessively grown. When cutting, use a blade or grafting knife or other sharp knife to slice the cutting from the mother branch. Practice has shown that the survival rate of these cuttings is high after healing.

The lower cut should be made about 0.5cm below the node or leaf stalk, about 10 to 15cm long, leaving 2 to 3 buds, leaving 2 to 3 upper leaves and cutting off part of the leaf, the upper cut is 0.5 to 1cm away from the bud, and the cut should be smooth.

After cutting, the seedlings can be soaked in 50 to 100mg/L ABT rooting powder for 0.5 to 1 hour; or soaked in a 0.5% solution of potassium permanganate for 10 minutes, or soaked in a 2% to 5% solution of dipotassium phosphate for 12 hours, or soaked in a 4% urea solution for 5 minutes. All of these can improve the survival rate.

“Pre-hole” method is used for cutting. That is, make a hole first, then insert the cutting, and compact the soil around it. The cutting depth should generally be 1/3 of the cutting’s length or 3 to 5cm is appropriate. Ensure the cutting is stable, and avoid going too deep. The density should be such that the leaves do not overlap each other.

The speed at which cuttings root is related to light, temperature, soil temperature, air humidity, and soil humidity. Generally, plants root faster when there’s abundant light, high humidity, and soil temperature is higher than air temperature.

Learn About the Miniature Rose: Basics, Growth & Care, Value and More

Conversely, the process is slower in opposite conditions. Therefore, after cutting, water should be thoroughly applied immediately to ensure the cuttings are tightly combined with the substrate.

Spray the plants with either a 50% carbendazim wettable powder or a 70% thiophanate-methyl wettable powder at 800 to 1000 times dilution, once a week.

Usually, roots begin to form in 15 to 20 days. After rooting, spray the plants once in 10 to 15 days and apply a foliar fertilizer with a 0.2% to 0.5% urea solution.

After cutting, cover the plants with a film or sunshade to maintain (or reduce) temperature and humidity. The water content of the cuttings’ substrate should be maintained at about 60%, relative humidity between 80% to 90%, and temperature around 25 degrees Celsius.

If the temperature exceeds 30 degrees Celsius, ventilate and spray water at noon to cool down. Avoid overwatering within 10 to 20 days after cutting. If weather is dry and hot, mist the leaves several times using a sprayer.

Once healing tissue forms, control the amount of water to promote rooting and ventilate for 1 to 2 hours daily. Avoid exposure to strong light, but also avoid too much shade; there should be some scattered light. Enhancing light at night helps improve survival rate.

If conditions allow, adopt the “full-day light micro-spray technology”. This not only allows for year-round nursery cultivation, but also significantly improves the survival rate of cuttings, generally above 90%.

Graft propagation

In spring, wild roses are used as rootstocks and budded with mature or nearly mature buds of the current year. Therefore, grafting is more suitable from late summer to early autumn, typically from late May to mid-October when the bark of the rootstock is easy to peel off.

Choose full, non-dormant buds or nearly mature semi-dormant buds from the current year’s branches and graft them onto the rootstock using the “T” method.

The key to a successful graft is that the bud and its associated small piece of skin must be fresh and clean; it must fit tightly against the rootstock and be tightly bound. The graft should be as low as possible, ideally at the rootstock. After the graft is successful, the graft can be planted and the graft interface buried in the soil.

After grafting, cover with a plastic canopy and sunshade net for temperature and humidity control to prevent the graft from wilting and rotting. After the graft is successful, remove the canopy and sunshade net.

Value and other

Primary value

Miniature roses are small and have delicate and beautiful flowers with a long flowering period. They can be used as ground cover materials to decorate flower mirrors, flower beds, flower bed edges, embellish lawns, and arrange flower patterns.

They can also be used in flower beds and to create miniature hedges. They can also be arranged on indoor windowsills, desks, balconies or outdoors with rocks, dead wood, etc. to create elegant stump potted plants. They can even be planted on tree holes to demonstrate the vigorous vitality of “spring after death”.

The potted form of miniature roses are often packaged as high-end gift flowers. In Denmark alone, the annual production of potted miniature roses reaches 35 million. The potted miniature rose has entered the stage of factory production, but China has just started in this area.

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Founder of FlowersLib

Peggie was once a high school mathematics teacher, but she set aside her chalkboard and textbooks to follow her lifelong passion for flowers. After years of dedication and learning, she not only established a thriving flower shop but also founded this blog, “Flowers Library”. If you have any questions or wish to learn more about flowers, feel free to contact Peggie.

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