Among the most charming and delightful of plants, miniature roses come in the same multitude of colors and varieties as their full-size cousins. They’re perfect for container gardens, but do just as well planted in the ground. Their small buds and blooms are beautiful in corsages and arrangements, tucked into a small vase on a tray or picked and carefully dried in potpourri.
While small in size, most miniatures are highly scented, and just a few small bushes can perfume the air in the entire garden. That and the ease of growing the hardy little perennials has made them increasingly popular with home gardeners. Their versatility makes them at home tumbling over a trellis to create a romantic, rose-covered gazebo as they are in a neatly trained border along the side of a driveway.
Miniature roses are, by definition, compact bushes with abundant blooms. A single miniature rose bush can have hundreds of flowers. There are a number of different varieties of miniatures, separated by size and growth behavior.
Micro-minis are particularly delightful, maturing at between 6 and 12 inches of height, with blooms as small as 1/4 inch across. They grow wonderfully in small pots and are the perfect plant to lend a touch of romance to a sunny city balcony.
Climbing miniature roses, like Rainbow’s Edge with showy orange and yellow flowers or the Red Cascade with its open, velvety red petals, can quickly cover an open frame or gazebo to create a rose-covered trellis in one growing season.
Upright miniature roses, or standards, are tree roses that grow from 12-18 inches tall. A rose tree in full bloom is a delightful centerpiece accent in a low growing garden or standing on its own in a container.
There are a number of miniature roses that trail, sending out runners with new growth and flowers. These make wonderful choices in a hanging basket, with drifts of flowers to cascade over the sides in a beautiful display of color. The best choices for hanging baskets include the aptly named Red Cascade and the ruffled pink Nostalgia.
Miniature roses are hardy bloomers that winter well even as far north as zone 4. They grow quickly, require little care outside of watering, and will reward you with dozens of blooms for very little effort.