She warns that even mini roses are "real roses, they're not houseplants, so they're not meant to be grown indoors." That means after they have been used as a table decoration, they need to be moved outside.
They are good to grow in containers, but can also be used as "color spots" throughout a garden or used as borders for English gardens or even to fill in full-sized rose gardens.
Adams said miniature roses are also nice for long containers or long walled-in sections of a garden.
They are also great for apartments and even for places without direct sunlight. Adams has a row of miniature roses on a bench that gets only reflected light from her white garage wall and they grow beautifully.
Just like regular-sized roses, miniature ones need to be pruned back in winter. If mini roses are planted in a container with other plants, make sure there is enough air circulation. Regular potting mix works just fine for mini roses. If you decide to cut the blooms for vases, cut them down to a five-leaf stem as you would larger roses.
Rose Gilardi will give a talk on growing miniature roses at the Peninsula Rose Society meeting on March 19.
"Just because they're small doesn't mean you have to baby them," she said. Like Adams, she prefers growing miniature roses in containers so they can be moved around and provide garden color.
Miniature roses most likely originated in China, Adams said, but were officially "discovered" by westerners in the 1700s. The American Rose Society began promoting them after World War II, pushing the idea of smaller gardens for people living in apartments and small dwellings.
You can buy "mini flora" roses which actually can grow to 4 inches above the knee, or miniatures, which are grow to about 2 feet. While miniature roses come in a the colors of the rainbow, and many are disease-resistant, Gilardi said, rose experts have had a much harder time finding a way to breed in fragrance, so most miniature roses don't have fragrance.
She plants miniature roses with perennials as well as with larger roses in her garden, often replacing ones that aren't blooming with ones that are to create color spots.
Miniature roses by color and name, recommended by the Peninsula Rose Society
Yellow: Bees Knees; Behold; Hot Tamale (yellow blend); My Sunshine (medium yellow)
Red: Starina (orange red); Black Jade (dark red); Glowing Amber, Kristin, Little Artist, Why Not (red blend)
Pink: Child's Play, Soroptimist International, X-Rated (pink blend); Marriotta (deep pink);
Mauve: Diamond Eyes, Ruby Pendant, Sweet Chariot
White: Figurine, Gourmet Popcorn, Irresistible
Orange: Gizmo, Millie Walters, Pierrine, Rainbow's End (orange blend); Jean Kenneally, Loving Touch (apricot blend)
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