Miniature Rose Bush - Indoor Care
The Miniature Rose Bush
Miniature rose bushes are hybrid roses that are bred to remain small in size. They have smaller flowers than a regular type of rose and come in a variety of different colors. Despite their small size, they are actually very hardy and most varieties are long blooming. Here are a few tips on how to care for your miniature rose bush as an indoor houseplant.
Typically rose bushes are meant to grow outside, therefore the miniature rose bush and micro hybrids won't bloom if they don't get enough sunlight. It is very important to give them enough sunlight if you are growing them indoors. If the plant appears to be “reaching” towards the window, or becoming thin and “leggy”, they are not getting enough light. They will need several hours of direct sun each day. You will need to place them in a sunny window indoors where they will get at least 6 hours of full sun each day.
Miniature rosebushes, just as regular roses, require lots of water, and they will dry out quickly in containers. Stick your finger in the container to check for dryness every day or two. The soil needs to be damp but not soggy. Be sure the container allows the water to drain. A collegue of mine, Becky Katz, said she has had miniature roses for years and recommended putting some pebbles in the bottom of the pot to be sure they get good drainage. I think that is an excellent idea!
Another good idea is to use a saucer under the pot that will hold the excess water as it drains out. this way the rose bush can use this water as it needs it. Miniature rose bushes enjoy moist air also, so try to mist them lightly with when you water them. Don't leave water drops on the leaves as it can cause "black spot" on the leaves.
Deadheading and Pruning
Deadhead – You will want to deadhead the flowers on your miniature rose bush as soon as they fade. The will help keep plants looking good and encourage them to continue blooming. Don't try to pinch them off with your fingers as this can damage the stem. Use sharp pruners and cut them at a 45° angle.
Pruning – As your miniature rose bush gets older, you will need to remove any dead branches that you see. The best time to prune you plant is in fall as the days are growing shorter and they are getting less sunlight. Yearly pruning will promote new growth as well as the plants overall health. It will also gives it an attractive shape. Be sure to use sharp pruners to cut the stem at a 45° angle, 1/4-inch above a leaf axil.
As your miniature rose bush grows, it is continuing to add more roots. If the roots become to crowded, what they call “pot bound”, your plant will not bloom. Check your rose bush to see if there is more than one plant in the container and if the roots are too crowded. This would be a good time to separate the plants and repot them in separate containers. To repot your plant, loosen the roots with your fingers, removing as much of the original soil as possible and re-plant in a pot slightly larger than the original. Be sure the pot has drainage holes so your plant does not get soggy.
Your miniature rose bush will go dormant in winter and will drop its leaves. This is ok. Giving roses a “rest period” in winter will actually prolong the life of the plant and keep it healthy. Keep it cool during this time. Water it slightly from time to time. You can move rose bush to a basement or garage for the winter just don’t let the roots freeze.
Miniature rose bushes are just as susceptible to the same diseases that can afflict any other roses. Overly damp conditions can cause blackspot to develop on the leaves, so be sure your container has good drainage. Blackspot is a fungus that needs to be treated right away. Cut off affected leaves and treat foliage with a fungicide especially made for blackspot. You can find a good fungicide in any home and garden store. Just follow the directions on the container. Good air ventilation will also help to prevent this fungus. Fortunately, newer rose hybrids are more and more resistant to diseases.
Miniature rose bushes are beautiful and hardy little plants. With a little bit of care you will be enjoying their beauty for years.