Tiny yet generous with their blooms, miniature roses are ideal for today’s smaller gardens. They have become increasingly popular in recent years, and nurseries are constantly offering new varieties.
Planting time. Lightly cut back long shoots on established plants. March-May: Buy flowering miniature roses infrom nurseries. Plant immediately.
Feed, water if conditions are dry (miniature rosedo not penetrate very deep into the soil) and check for pests and diseases. Spray if necessary.
Plant bare-specimens in open ground, 30-35cm apart.
If conditions are very severe, give extra protection by covering the soil around plants with a mulch (layer) of organic matter or straw.
POPULAR VARIETIES ,
Name, Colour, Height (cm) 30, Description ‘Angela Rippon’, coral pink, double, compact, bushy ‘Anna Ford’, orange-red, 45, semi-double, dense, bushy ‘Baby Masquerade’, yellow and red, deeper with age, 45, upright and bushy ‘Coralin’, coral pink, 38, upright and bushy ‘Gentle Touch’, pale pink, 30, double, compact ‘Honeybunch’, honey yellow, salmon flush, 45, scented, vigorous and bushy ‘Hula Girl’, bright salmon-orange, 30, double, bushy ‘Magic Carrousel’, white petals with pink edge, 30, upright ‘Mood Music’, orange-pink, 30, bushy, upright ‘Orange Sunblaze’, orange-red, 38, double, cupped ‘Peek-a-Boo’, copper-orange, paler with age, 45, double, upright ‘Penelope Keith’, golden-yellow, 45, double, upright and bushy ‘Perestroika’, yellow, 30, classic-shape, bushy ‘Red Ace’, dark red, 30, double, compact and bushy ‘Robin Redbreast’, dark red, creamy yellow centre, 45, single, bushy and spreading ‘Sheri Anne’, orange-red, 30, double, bushy and spreading ‘ ’, white, 30, double, upright ‘Stacey Sue’, soft pink, 30, double, bushy, upright ‘Stars ‘n’ Stripes’, striped red and white, 30, double, bushy, upright ‘Sweet Dream’, peachy apricot, 45, double, wide and bushy ‘Yorkshire Sunblaze’, white, 30, semi-double, compact, bushy
M iniature roses are available in a range of colours from white to pastel pink and peach, bright yellow and orange to red. There is even a green variety.
Most experts believe that miniature roses are descended from Rosa chinensis. The first known variety was recorded in 1840. It had pinkand was named ‘Pompon de Paris’. Today’s miniatures from a rose named ‘Rouletii’, which dates from 1918.
Since 1930, breeders have carried out an intensive programme to produce miniature roses. As well as the true miniatures (height up to 45cm) there is a group of slightly larger roses known asroses or compact floribundas. They grow up to 60 cm tall.
Among theroses one strain, the dwarf polyanthas, is descended from polyantha roses and includes such varieties as ‘Katharina Zeimet’.
A Dutch breeder produced the ‘Compacta’ series of roses, named after the seven dwarfs in Walt Disney’s ‘Snow White’: they include ‘Happy’ and ‘Bashful’. They are descended from a cross between the hybrid musk ‘Robin Hood’ and a polyantha rose.
Their abundance of blooms and low height make miniature roses suitable for a wide range of uses. Plant them along the edge of a border, either incorporating them into a formal rose planting scheme or mixing them with other plants.
They are excellent asplants, displayed in pots or window-boxes, and they also look good planted in a rockery.
GROWING IN POTS
Choose a pot deep enough to give adequate root run (miniatures need 25-30cm, patio roses 40cm) and wide enough for roots to spread out.
Place crocks in the bottom to give goodand plant in a soil-based planting mix.
Water regularly, especially in dry weather, andevery 2 weeks in the growing season.
A warm spot in beds and borders, onor balconies, planted in or combined with low, clump-forming plants. Plant where you can appreciate the small size, for instance, in a raised bed.
Medium-heavy, fertile soil that retains moisture and food. Improve with organic material (manure or) if soil is poor. Plant container roses in a good soil-based planting mixture.
Plant miniature roses in autumn or spring. In spring, cut them back to about half their height. Feed regularly, and inspect for pests and diseases.
Use a combinedand fungicide to control and infections such as blackspot and powdery . Spray with pirimi- carb to control greenfly.
Buy miniature roses in pots as they resent root disturbance.
Look out for roses grown on their own roots, which tend to be smaller than ones grafted on to a rootstock.