Miniature climbing rose in a container.
image by H.B. Dean
If you don't have room for a full-sized rose, raise a miniature rose. Miniature roses come in a variety of colors and types, including shrub, ground cover and even climbing. Miniature roses are hardy to USDA Zone 6 and can be planted directly in the garden. Some gardeners prefer to grow miniature roses in containers and bring them in during the winter.
Choose a location for the miniature rose. Whether grown in a container or in the ground, roses need at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. They thrive in rich, moist, well-draining soil. If you want to grow a container rose, select a pot that is at least 15 inches wide and has adequate drainage holes.
Make a planting mixture to grow roses in either containers or in gardens. Make a planting mixture of equal amounts of peat moss, potting soil and mulch.
Plant the miniature rose in a container. Fill the container half full with this mixture. Place the rose on top of the soil mixture; adjust the soil so that the bud union--where the roots meet the canes--is about 2 inches below the top of the container. Add the soil mixture around the rose, covering the root ball and stopping below the bud union. Tamp down gently to settle the soil and water thoroughly.
Plant the rose in the garden. Dig a hole that is 1 foot deep and 1 foot wide. Mix the soil from the garden with the planting mixture. Fill the hole half full with the planting mixture. Add water until the hole is full and mix with a shovel; it will have the consistency of unset pudding. Place the rose in the hole, with the bud union right above the ground. Add more planting mixture, filling the hole, until the water-planting mix is firm.
Miniature Rose Care
Keep the soil damp around the newly planted rose until new red leaves appear; this might take several weeks. After that, reduce the watering so that it receives about 1 inch of water each week.
Use rose food designed for the location the miniature is grown. Check the label; some plant food is not formulated for container plants.
Deadhead faded blossoms on the rose and discard in the trash. Most roses are pruned in early spring; because of their size, pruning is difficult for miniatures. Rose Gardening Made Easy offers this suggestion: "Use a hedge clipper to trim the tops about 1 foot above soil level. ... If the rose is very small, trim off less."
Treat the rose for diseases and pests. Trim leaves affected with black spot or mildew and treat the plant with a fungicide. Use a pesticide or pick off pests by hand.
Winterize miniature roses in the garden by covering the plant's base with mulch or decaying leaves. Roses in containers can be left outside; if they are brought inside, they need a location with strong sunlight.
About this Author
After attending Hardin Simmons University, Kay Dean finished her formal education with the Institute of Children's Literature. Since 1995, Dean has written for such publications as "PB&J," Disney’s "Family Fun," "ParentLife," "Living With Teenagers" and Thomas Nelson’s NY Times bestselling "Resolve." An avid gardener for 25 years, her experience includes organic food gardening, ornamental plants, shrubs and trees, with a special love for roses.