Prized for their beauty, fragrance, novelty and adaptability, miniature roses are the queen of flowers. This diminutive Chinese native was introduced around 1815. Known as 'Fairy Flowers' or 'Fairy Roses', they were briefly popular then disappeared from fashion.
This improved strain of the renowned miniature rose types germinates readily, grows vigorously and blooms just 3 to 5 months from sowing. It produces a compact plant with a constant supply of sweetly scented double and semi-double 5cm (2in) roses in a palette of antique hues: rose to pink to white.
They can be grown as an annual when started early.
With true Old Rose vigour, miniatures tend to be profuse repeat bloomers, from early summer into mid-autumn with a fragrance is similar to tea roses and because these are grown from seed they have their own root stock and are actually hardier than many of the larger hybrid rose varieties.
Miniature roses grow to about 30 to 45cm (12 to 18in) high in containers and baskets. They can get a little larger when planted outdoors where they make excellent border or edging plants.
Miniature roses can easily be raised from seed at a fraction of the cost of buying potted plants. They are lovely in outdoor containers or can be kept indoors as houseplants and will flower year round providing they are positioned in a bright sunny window.
You might also want to grow these roses as gifts, that is, if you can bear to part with them!
Sowing: Sow in winter to late spring or in late summer to autumn.
Sow the seeds in pots using well drained compost (John Innes seed compost or similar) and cover seeds lightly with vermiculite or a fine sprinkling of compost. Water from the base of the container.
After watering, place the seed container in a cold frame or outside against a north wall or in a cold frame, making sure they are protected against mice, and leave them there until they germinate. Germinates in 2 to 3 weeks at 18ºC.
The compost should be kept moist but not wet at all times, and if the seed containers are out in the open then some shelter has to be given against excessive rain.
When seedlings have their first pair of true leaves and are large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots.
Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
If brought indoors as a house plant: They perform best in bright areas with good air circulation. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. As blossoms fade, pinch them off to encourage more bloom. Bright light is key.
If planted in the garden: Mini-Roses like a sunny spot on the patio or garden with at least half day sun. Plant and treat miniatures the same as you would full size roses.
Dig a hole the same depth as the pot and about a foot wider. Carefully remove the rose from the pot and gently loosen the roots. Add some organic matter to the soil in hole, if needed. Place the rose bush in the centre of the hole, with the roots spread out. Fill in the hole and firm gently. Thoroughly water the newly planted bush and then apply a layer of mulch.
Because they are not budded or grafted, gardeners in colder climates don’t need to worry about covering or mulching the graft and gardeners in warmer climates won’t need to be concerned about suckers from the root stock.
Roses can be heavy feeders and since mini roses continue blooming all season, even with soil rich in organic matter, regular fertilising is essential. Use any commercial rose food or general purpose fertiliser, according to label instructions.
Feeding is really a matter of how much ‘pottering’ in the garden you like doing. If you are often looking for things to do then water soluble feed is great. If you are more the ‘plant it and forget it’ style then time release as the only way to go!
Prune at the end of the rest period, using sharp scissors to remove up to half the previous year's growth. Use scissors to remove faded flowers.
Flowers Borders, Beds and Path edging, Containers, Low Maintenance.
Rosa chinensis is a species of rose in the classified section chinenses native of central China. Guizhou , Hubei and Sichuan. They have been in cultivation since at least 1810 and probably a decade longer.
Known as The China Rose, it is widely cultivated in China as an ornamental plant and many cultivars have been selected for their flowers of various colours, with many petals (flowers semi-double, or full).
The species has also played an important role in the creation of many modern roses gardens, including roses hybrid tea and is the origin of the varieties called "everbearing", that is to say, continuous flowering.
The flowers and fruits are used in traditional Chinese medicine.
The term 'Fairy Roses' was an early name given to the Miniature Chinas group of roses, and their earliest modern hybrids. We have since come to know them as simply Miniature Roses.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 25 Seeds Family Rosaceae Genus Rosa Species chinensis var minima Common Name The China Rose, Chinese Rose, Minature Rose Other Common Names Fairy Rose Other Language Names Le Rosier de Chine Hardiness Shrub Flowers Antique hues: rose to pink to white Fruit Red rose-hips in autumn Foliage Dark Green Height 30 to 45cm (12 to 18in) in containers, 45 to 60cm (16 to 24in) grown outdoors. Position Prefers Full Sun Aspect All aspects, exposed or sheltered