Miniature roses are a popular gift, especially around holidays such as Valentines Day. A more sustainable gift than the traditional bunch of cut red roses. With the right care and attention miniature roses can be kept indoors, or outside for an extended period.
Coming in a rage of colors, shapes and aromas growing roses indoors can be a rewarding experience. While many rose varieties, such as the knockout rose, are happier outside, indoor cultivation is possible. It just takes a little more care and attention. This guide to growing miniature roses indoors provides you with all the information you need to keep your plants happy and healthy.
Flowers are a popular gift. Uncut plants can, with a little care be kept and grown on as houseplants.
Can I Grow Miniature Roses Indoors?
Growing miniature roses indoors can be difficult. Like other types of rose, these plants decline if they aren’t exposed to a period of cooler temperatures. This occurs naturally when cultivating outside but is difficult to achieve indoors. For this reason many gardeners choose to transplant their flowers into a light, well-draining flower bed or container garden as soon as possible.
Many miniatures are cold tolerant and, after a period of hardening off, quickly acclimatize to their new position. If you are able to transplant your miniature roses into a flower bed it is best to do it at least a month before your first anticipated frost. This gives the plants a chance to become established before the cold weather hits.
To transplant, dig a hole at least twice as wide and deep as the plant’s root ball. Center the plant in the hole. When you are happy with the plants position fill in the hole, firming the soil down as you do so. After planting water in well.
However, many rose lovers may not have the outdoor space to grow knockout roses. Luckily cultivation indoors is also possible. It just takes a little more effort.
A popular gift, there are a number of miniature roses available. These grow in a range of styles and sizes from small bushy plants to larger, trailing plants. They can all be successfully cultivated indoors.
The cultivar Beauty Secret produces rich red blooms, while Starinas flowers are a pleasing orange-red shade. For something a little different Lavender Lace reliably produces large, mauve colored flowers. Meanwhile, in contrast, Cupcake’s blooms are a pleasing pale shade of pink.
If you want a really small variety Cinderella and Popcorn both produce delicate, small white flowers. Similarly, the yellow flowering Littlest Angel and the pink flowering Bo Peep are also reliable options. Finally, if you want to fill your indoors with fragrant miniature rose plants all members of the Scentsation cultivar produce an attractive fragrance.
Like the larger cultivars there are a number of suitable different small varieties. This allows you to grow a range of different colored plants, further enlivening your home.
Caring for Miniature Roses Indoors
Caring for miniature roses indoors can be daunting. However, with a little extra effort it can be a pleasingly rewarding pastime.
The key to successfully caring for miniature roses indoors is to establish a steady routine. This enables you to provide the ideal conditions, encouraging the plants to flourish while keeping common pests and problems at bay.
Like their larger counterparts, each variety of mini rose has its own characteristics and preferences. Despite the miniature label, plant height and spread can range from 6 inches to 4 ft. The different varieties and cultivars also display different growth habits, including bushy, cascading, climbing or compact.
For this reason you should carefully read the information label that comes with your plant before you do anything else. This helps you to work out the best position for your plant as well as knowing what form of support to provide.
Don’t be disheartened if growth seems slow. The plants are often small and compact when you purchase them. However, once established they quickly achieve their full size, flowering for an extended period. Despite their delicate appearance these are pleasingly robust plants.
Planting and Repotting
Like other container plants, growing roses indoors requires regular repotting. You may also need to repot the plant soon after purchase.
When potting and repotting plants you should only ever use fresh or sterile soil. A potting soil mixed with perlite and compost is ideal for growing miniature roses indoors. This combination allows for a well draining, rich soil. A beneficial soil profile such as this helps to create an environment in which your plants are able to flourish.
The new container should be about 2 inches larger than the original container. This gives the plant room to grow, but not so much space that it is overwhelmed. The container should also be clean, have drainage holes in the bottom and be wider than it is deep.
Place a handful of pebbles or small rocks on the bottom of the container. This helps to improve drainage. Fill the container half to a third full with your fresh potting soil mix.
Carefully remove the mini rose from its original container. If this is difficult, gently squeeze the container. This helps to loosen the soil, making plant removal slightly easier. Once the plant is removed gently brush off any dirt or soil clumps from the root system. Be careful not to damage the roots as you do this.
Position the plant in the center of the new container, the top of the root system should sit just below the top of the container. When you are happy with the position of the plant fill in the container with more of the soil potting mix. Gently firm the soil down, being careful not to overly compact it. Water the plant in well.
You will need to repot miniature roses growing indoors once every year. Slower growing plants may require repotting once every two years. One of the most obvious signs that a plant requires repotting is that its roots emerge from the container’s drainage holes. Pot bound plants also tend to dry out more quickly between waterings and growth may slow or cease.
Light and Position
Whether indoors or outdoors miniature rose plants love lots of bright sunlight. Ideally the plants should receive 6 to 8 hours of direct light every day.
Placing the plants on a south or west facing windowsill should satisfy their needs. Gardeners unable to provide enough natural light can place their plants under a grow light. Artificial light is just as beneficial as natural light.
During the warmest months of summer south and west facing windows can become very warm. This can cause the foliage of the plants to become scorched or burnt. To prevent this, remove the plants from the window. Placing plants further back into the room limits their exposure to heat while still allowing them to enjoy the sunlight. Alternatively you can place the plants outside on a patio or balcony with other container plants. They can remain outside until the temperatures begin to fall.
Every couple of weeks turn the container around slightly. This allows all areas of the plant to receive the same amount of light, encouraging symmetrical growth and a pleasingly balanced plant.
Like their larger counterparts, growing miniature roses indoors has a few requirements that you must meet in order for the plants to flourish.
Like other container plants growing miniature roses indoors requires regular watering. Knowing how often to water houseplants can be difficult.
Water only when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. This prevents the soil from becominging overly waterlogged and the plants from developing root rot or a fungal infection. You should also never let the plant sit in water for an extended period.
When watering, water only the soil around the plant. Damp flowers and foliage can become diseased. Water until water begins to run out of the bottom of the container. Allow the water to finish draining away before returning your plant to its usual indoor position.
The most obvious sign that your plant is thirsty and in need of water is a yellowing of leaves. Water well and the plant should soon recover.
Fertilizing Miniature Roses Indoors
Fertilizing encourages steady growth and flowering. Fertilize mini rose plants regularly during the spring and summer. Depending on the climate and the plants individual needs, fertilize once every two to four weeks.
A well-balanced houseplant fertilizer is fine for miniature roses growing indoors. This provides all the nutrients your plant needs. Alternatively you can make your own from one of these recipes. Making your own plant feed is surprisingly easy. It also means that you know exactly what you are giving your plants.
Water soluble or liquid fertilizers, diluted to half its strength, are easy to apply. Simply dilute and incorporate into your watering routine.
Salt build up in the soil can be a problem for houseplants that require regular fertilizing. This can cause plants to become diseased. Watering the plant thoroughly at least twice between fertilizer applications should flush out any excess salt before more fertilizer is added.
Temperature and Humidity
Growing miniature roses indoors requires warm temperatures of around 65 to 75 °F during the day. At night the temperature shouldn’t fall too far below 60°F.
If the temperature around the plant falls below 50 °F the plant may become dormant. This means that growth and flower production will cease. While this shouldn’t happen when the plants are flourishing you do need to expose your plants to cooler temperatures for around 6 weeks of the year.
Exposure to cooler temperatures encourages your plants to flower the following year. This can be done naturally during the fall or winter by moving the plant to a colder, well lit room such as a greenhouse or unheated room. Gardeners in the mildest USDA zones can simply place the plants outside for a period.
Don’t worry if an unexpected frost hits, mini rose plants are surprisingly hardy. They are capable of surviving temperatures as low as 10 °F.
Miniature roses growing indoors love humidity. Aim to keep humidity levels above 40%. While other humidity loving plants like misting you should never mist mini rose plants. Damp leaves can become a breeding ground for fungus or disease. Instead use a humidifier or a humidity tray.
A humidity tray such as Eve’s Bonsai Humidity Drip Tray is a great way to raise humidity levels. Alternatively you can make your own. Simply position the plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water.
Make sure that the water level is below the top of the pebbles and that the container isn’t touching the water. This can cause the soil to become overly soggy and may lead to the plant developing root rot. Remember to regularly re-fill the tray as the water will evaporate.
Pruning and Deadheading
Deadheading spent flowers encourages more flower buds to form. This extends your flowering period. It also helps to keep the plants neat and healthy.
Pruning is best done when the plant enters its winter dormant period. Begin by removing any dead or dying growth. Then with a garden scissors, and if your plant is thorny a pair of gardening gloves, prune away any stems that are becoming entangled. Aim to opening up crowded areas where air circulation and light penetration may be difficult. This helps to keep plants healthy.
Healthy stems can also be cut down to just above a five leaflet leaf set. This is usually the point where the cane becomes thick enough to support a new flowering stem.
You can comfortably prune from a third to half of the plant away at any one time. Mini roses, even those growing indoors, are pleasingly hardy. They will quickly grow back in the spring.
Once you have mastered growing miniature roses indoors you may want to expand your collection. One of the easiest, and cheapest, ways to do this is by propagation. Be warned this is not a guaranteed process, not all mini roses are easily propagated.
While larger varieties can be propagated in potatoes, miniature roses are best propagated by cuttings.
To propagate you will need a stem with a spent flower and at least three healthy leaves. With sterilized shears or garden scissors cut the spent flower from the stem.
Next, cut the stem from the plant, your cutting should be 4 to 6 inches in length. The cut you make should be at a sharp angle of around 45°. Some growers like to dip this cut end into organic, local honey. This is thought to protect the cutting from root rot and mold. You can also dip the cutting in rooting hormone to encourage root production.
Place the cutting in a small, clean container filled with fresh potting mix. The same mix you use for planting your miniature roses is ideal. Put the cutting in a light position and keep the soil damp. If successful, new growth should emerge within 6 weeks.
Common Pests and Problems
If kept in a favorable position and well cared for, growing miniature roses indoors is a largely problem free pastime. However there are a few things you should watch out for.
Spider mites in particular like to target miniature roses indoors. Regularly check the plant for signs of infestation. Spider mites can be removed by wiping both sides of the foliage with a paper towel that has been dipped in soapy water. Neem oil can also be applied in the same way and is just as effective.
Similarly aphids can also target miniature roses growing indoors. Regularly checking your plants, at least once a week, enables you to spot the first signs of infestations. Like spider mites, aphids can be removed by gently wiping foliage with soapy water or neem oil.
Various fungi can appear on the foliage of miniature roses indoors. Black spot, rust and powdery mildew can all appear on a plant.
Spacing plants so that they are at least a foot away from other plants allows for better air circulation, as does regular pruning. The better air can flow around a plant the less likely it is to become diseased.
When watering aim to water only the soil, so the foliage doesn’t become wet. Sterilizing garden scissors before use also helps to keep plants healthy and fungus free.
Growing miniature roses indoors is a great way to make a gift last longer. With a little care and attention you will be able to enjoy colorful roses in your own home.
Growing miniature roses indoors is a great way to enjoy these fabulous flowers if you have little outside space. It is also a fantastic way to make a thoughtful gift last longer.
Just because they are on the small side doesn’t mean growing miniature roses indoors lacks impact. Coming in a range of sizes, colors and shapes growing a variety of miniature roses indoors is a great way to bring interest to your home. Requiring a little more attention than other houseplants, once you find the ideal position your miniature rose will reward you with long lasting, fragrant blooms.
Elizabeth learnt to love gardening as a child in her grandparents backyard. Today, she is a trained horticulturist and has maintained a productive allotment for over 10 years. When not growing her own, Elizabeth enjoys helping other people with the plant problems. An experienced writer and editor, away from gardening Elizabeth is also a keen bird watcher, local historian and genealogist, meaning that she can often be found with her dogs exploring an overgrown graveyard.