All over the United States as well as Canada and in nearly all regions of Europe, people mostly buy miniature roses as very small plants that come in pots measuring 2 inches (5 cm). These plants will usually have developed their roots either from cuttings or by means of tissue culture, a propagation technique that has not proved to be very successful in the case of large roses, but somewhat flourishing in the case of several miniature roses. To amateur eyes, such roses may appear to be frail and undersized, but they are capable of achieving remarkable growth in just one season. You will be surprised to notice that the roses, which were of the length of just a finger when you purchased them in the beginning of spring, have grown robustly to reasonable heights by summer end.
While different people in different places treat small miniatures roses differently, they are generally planted into larger containers as soon as they acquire them, as they are so small that they cannot adjust to the outdoor conditions in the garden. In case you have received the plants from any nursery via mail, you need to water them thoroughly with a view to alleviate their stress and dehydration caused by lack of water during their travel. Irrespective of why you may have bought the rose, it is essential to water the plant and also provide it with precise aftercare. In case you have acquired the rose to grow it as a house plant, the only thing it requires is water. However, never drench it in water, but just keep providing with light watering ensuring that the plant never dries out. On average, such plants will usually flourish for some weeks in indoor conditions and then show signs of their desire to grow outdoors. When you notice the flowers fading and the plant’s foliage turning yellow, you should know that it is time to plant them outdoors in your garden.
You should always bear in mind that compared to the miniature roses grown in the garden, those grown in pots have a tendency to dehydrate quicker and, hence, it is important to water them regularly as well as appropriately. If you are growing several miniature roses, it is best to employ an emitter system in order to ensure that all the plants are being watered appropriately. An emitter system comprises a hose running the length of the place where you have planted your miniature roses and several emitters from the hose provide a continuous stream of fine water spray on the plants as well as the containers.
You need to provide extra soil in the pots while planting the miniature roses. However, it is advisable that you avoid using the soil from your garden, as it may contain weeds, pests and micro-organisms like bacteria and fungi. These will prove to be detrimental for the potted roses. In case you are not potting several miniature roses at the same time, you can choose from several superior quality potting mixes that are available commercially. Using these will not only help the plants to grow healthily, but also save much of your efforts and time.
While buying commercial potting mixes try to get one that is especially meant for roses – you will find that on the product label. Alternatively, you can also prepare your mix by yourself. For instance, you can make the mix using peat, some soil pellets or loam and perlite or vermiculite. Adding soil pellets will help to add some weight to the potting mix. Instead of using perlite or vermiculite, you may also use sand in the potting mix. However, remember that sand usually becomes very sodden and, therefore, you need to use your discretion while adding sand to the potting mix. On the other hand, adding peat as well as perlite or vermiculite to the mix also has its downside – they are very light and, therefore, a strong wind or slightly forceful touch may knock down the pot. On the other hand, light weight pots can be moved from one place to another more easily. If you use peat alone and do away with vermiculite or perlite, the mix will become desiccated too fast.
Before adding the potting mix into the pot, it is advisable that you first put a layer of broken terracotta pots/ bricks or medium sized stones and then place the potting mix. This will keep the drainage hole clear from congestion and allow the surplus water to flow out. However, you should also ensure that the growing medium is not washed away through the drainage holes. Keep the container on a plate so that the water does not spill around and make things untidy.
All potting mixes available commercially contain numerous added nutriments. Therefore, when you are making your own mix you need to add any ordinary fertilizer to it to enhance its nutrient value. The availability of controlled-release pellets has made it much easier to add fertilizers to your home-made potting mixes. Now, you can just add these pellets to the potting mix and not add any other fertilizer to it. In case these formulations contain a high level of nitrogen, you need to bear in mind that the mix will have to promote the vegetative growth of the roses for a prolonged season. After growing the roses in the pot for their first season, you will be required to renew the food for the miniatures. The best way to administer the food is through granular feeding. Some people prefer powders, but granular feeding is definitely better, because use of powders may often build up in the foliage causing them to burn.
Apart from the plants, the pots also require some amount of care. However, this is an annual affair. Make it a point once every year to cautiously take out the root ball of the rose from the container and gently place it on a paper laid out on a bench. Examine the roots of your miniature rose closely. It is alright if the roots appear white and seem to be robust. On the other hand, it they have turned black and have a shriveled look, you should be sure that something is wrong with these roots. In this case, you need to examine the pots to see if there is any sign of weevil (a bug that thrives on roots) or any other microbes. If any of these are present, it is likely that you have neglected the plants and not provided them with adequate nutrients or water or these things have not been done properly. On the other hand, if you find that the plant’s roots have become too large and cannot be contained comfortably in the pot any longer, especially the root mass has no place to extend, you need to plant the rose into a larger pot and provide it additional soil all around. When you have taken out the rose and cleared all the soil and other materials from the pot, clean and wash it meticulously before drying it up for use again.
Advantages of container-grown miniatures
There are several advantages of growing miniature roses in containers and the biggest of them is the fact that they can be easily moved from one place in the garden to another. In addition, you can use container-grown roses in the form of short-term fillers in your garden in vacant places where other plants have withered. When any plant in your garden fails, you can simply take the miniature roses pot and place it at the spot. Cover the pot with some soil so that the plant appears to be growing from the ground. At the same time, you ought to remember that you have to lift the plant along with the pot when the season ends, or else it will damage the plant. However, you may also decide to bring the plant out of the container and grow it in your garden permanently.
Apart from all these, when you grow a plant in a container it also offers you an excellent opportunity to assess if it would be better to grow it in your garden or you should continue nurturing it in the pot. In fact, this aspect is becoming more and more crucial because the height as well as the spread of all miniature roses differ significantly when you take into consideration the feeding, weeding and spraying of the varieties grown in containers. In fact, you can monitor miniature roses grown in containers more easily compared to the varieties that are grown in the garden.
Provided you take proper care of your miniature roses, they will keep growing healthily for several years. At the same time, you should make sure that your miniature roses are not pot bound. In case the plants grow bigger than what the pot can accommodate, you should transfer them to a larger container that can accommodate them comfortably. While moving the plants from one pot to another you need to be careful to keep the root ball in one piece as far as possible. In addition, you need to add the right type of soil for your favorite miniature roses.
Containers for miniature roses
It is a good idea to grow your miniature roses in containers, because it will not only help you to move them around, but also take better care than those in your garden. While choosing the right containers or pots, go for the ones that are more decorative and are usually made of terracotta or clay. Using terracotta or clay pots offer a number of advantages. Unlike the plastic pots, these containers help to keep the roots cool during summer and warm during winter. In addition, terracotta and clay pots also soak in plenty of moisture, which is beneficial for the roots. Then again, as clay and terracotta pots are fragile, the risks of them breaking or being blown over by strong winds remain. In addition, these pots may develop fissures due to hard frosts. Therefore, you will need to find clay and terracotta pots that come with a long frost-resistant guarantee. Here is a word of caution – never be lured into purchasing seconds at cheaper prices from any potter if you do not intend to use them only for indoor use.
Apart from terracotta and clay pots, you can also use wooden containers, which are very effective for growing plants – even outdoors. In fact, old beer, whiskey, wine and cider barrels are excellent for use as containers for growing plants. They are attractive too. Nevertheless, you should ensure that these containers did not carry anything earlier, which may prove to be toxic for the roses. In fact, you can use anything that has the capability to hold soil for growing your roses. However, they should essentially have proper drainage holes to release surplus water. Generally, you will find gardeners using various things, some even unusual, for growing plants. They may use things varying from plastic pots to large and tough buckets, in addition to using even tin cans.