Miniature roses FAQs

How does a miniature rose differ from other kinds?

The earliest varieties, the true miniatures, were no more than 150-225 mm (6-9 in) high; many, like ‘Cinderella’, had fully double, scented flowers with 50 or more tiny petals. Most were red or pink, and in order to increase the colour range, breeders crossed them with the larger cluster-flowered varieties. They achieved their object, but at the expense of the original daintiness and small stature. Many modern so-called miniatures have flowers of such a size and growth so robust that it is difficult to tell them from dwarf cluster-flowered kinds. Typical examples are ‘Angela Rippon’, ‘Starina’, ‘Anna Ford’, and ‘Magic Carousel’, all of which will grow to 300 mm (12 in) or more. One of the easiest ways of keeping miniature roses small is to grow them from cuttings rather than buy plants budded on to rootstocks.

How can I use miniature roses to the best advantage?

The fact that they are usually sold in pots has led to the belief that they are fragile indoor pot-plants. In fact, they are perfectly suitable as garden plants: they are as hardy as other roses and, indeed, need the fresh air of outdoors. Their cultivation requirements are the same as for any other rose.

They are ideal for a patio when planted in tubs, troughs, or stone sinks, or for rockeries provided that they can have a good root run with plenty of soil between the rocks. Or you can try them in a terraced bed around a sunken garden, which will bring them nearer to eye level. Miniature standards and climbers are available to add variety to such a planting, and the larger varieties can be used to line a path or drive.

Can I grow miniature roses indoors?

Not permanently unless you are prepared to instal special fluorescent strip lighting for them and provide the humidity they need: in the average house the light is insufficient and the air is much too dry. If the plants are placed in a window, the sun’s heat coming through the glass will be too great. But roses in their pots can safely be kept in a cool greenhouse; then, when the buds are beginning to show colour, they can be brought into the house. They must be taken outside at once after flowering or the leaves will yellow and drop off.

Which are some of the best miniature roses for colour, robustness and health?

My favourites include: ‘Angela Rippon’ (pink), ‘Baby Darling’ (deep pink), ‘Cinderella’ (white, flushed pink), ‘Colibri’ (orange), ‘Darling Flame’ (orange vermilion, yellow reverse), ‘Easter Morning’ (ivory white), ‘Eleanor’ (pink), ‘Judy Fischer’ (cerise-pink), ‘Little Flirt’ (orange-red and yellow bicolour), ‘Magic Carousel’ (white, edged pink), ‘New Penny’ (pink), ‘Orange Sunblaze’, ‘Perla-de-Montserrat’ (pink), ‘PourToi’ (white), ‘Red Sunblaze’, ‘Rise’n’ Shine’ (yellow), ‘Starina’ (vermilion).

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