How to Grow Hardy Miniature Roses (2024)

Common NameMiniature rose, rose
Botanical NameRosa spp.
Plant TypeDeciduous shrub
Mature Size1–2 ft. tall, 1–2 ft. wide
Sun ExposureFull sun
Soil TypeMoist but well-drained
Soil pHNeutral to acidic
Bloom TimeLate spring, summer
Flower ColorPink, red, yellow, white
Hardiness Zones5–9 (USDA)
Native AreaNone; miniature roses are a cultivated creation


Watch Now: How to Grow and Care for Miniature Roses

Miniature Rose Care

Here are the main care requirements for growing miniature roses:

  • Plant miniature roses in the spring using rich, well-drained soil, and top with a layer of mulch.
  • Position miniature roses in full sun, with at least six to eight hours of daily sunlight.
  • Plant them in nutrient-rich garden soil, or if planting in patio containers, buy bags of lightweight potting soil.
  • Provide your miniature roses with 1 inch of water per week, generally. Watering needs will vary depending on your soil and weather.
  • Keep your miniature roses in moderate temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit; they cannot withstand cold temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fertilize your miniature roses regularly with any commercial rose food or general all-purpose fertilizer.

How to Grow Hardy Miniature Roses (1)

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Like full-size roses, the miniature variety does best if planted in the spring. Wherever you’re planting them, carefully remove the rose plant from the pot and gently loosen its roots as the first step in your spring rose care routines. If the plant's roots are tightly bound, use a sharp knife to score the sides of the root ball and try to loosen the roots.

  • Plant Mini Roses Indoors: Place the rose bush in the center of the partially filled pot, topping with soil and gently patting it down. Set in a location that receives six to eight hours of sun a day.
  • Plant Mini Roses Outdoors in Pots: When growing roses in pots, fill the pot about two-thirds full of prepared soil mix. Place the rose in the pot, then fill around the plant with the remaining potting soil, pressing it down firmly around the roots.
  • Plant Mini Roses in the Garden: Dig a hole the same height as the pot the miniature roses came and about a foot wider. Add mulch to protect the roots from the cold, as well as aid in moisture retention.


Like all roses, the miniature varietals thrive in full sun. Though they can tolerate a bit of shade, often times their foliage and flowers will become sparse in shady conditions. At least six to eight hours daily of sunlight should result in the best disease resistance and the most full, bloom-packed bush possible.


Roses like rich, well-drained, and loamy soil. Miniature roses are also a favorite plant for patio containers. If you choose to go this route, don't dig up soil from the garden to use to grow your pot of roses. Instead, buy bags of potting soil—garden soil is too heavy and can compact with the frequent waterings needed for container plants, potentially suffocating the roots. Light, nutrient-rich potting soil drains well, helping the plant avoid root rot.


Miniature roses typically require about 1 inch of water per week, but watering needs for specific plants may vary based on the soil and weather in different growing locations. This could mean daily waterings, every other day, or even just twice a week.

Be sure to water deeply to promote good root development and aim your hose at the base of the plant to avoid spraying the delicate blooms directly. Due to their smaller roots, miniature roses may require more frequent watering during extreme heat when compared to their full-sized cousins.

Temperature and Humidity

Miniature roses can withstand a moderate range of temperatures but will do best around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They cannot withstand cold temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you're expecting a drop, your best bet is to bring any bushes planted in containers indoors.

Although mini roses do quite well in containers, and you often see them sold as houseplants, many gardeners are disappointed by their performance indoors. Like traditional roses, they need full sunlight and medium humidity. To successfully grow them indoors, supplemental light and humidity are required.


Roses can be heavy feeders and since miniature roses continue blooming all season, regular fertilizing is essential. Use any commercial rose food or general all-purpose fertilizer, applied according to label instructions.

To keep your plant healthy, feed it when the bush first leafs out and again after each heavy flush of blooms. Cease feeding your roses about six to eight weeks before the first expected frost to discourage new growth that could be killed back during winter.

Types of Miniature Roses

Like types of full-sized roses, miniature roses come in hundreds of varietals. Primarily, they fall into the following categories:

  • Climbers: Miniature roses with a vertical rambling growth habit that can be trained to grow against supports are known as climbing roses. The only thing "miniature" about these roses is the size of their flowers. In fact, the award-winning 'Jeanne Lajoie' varietal doesn’t appear mini at all—if grown properly, it can reach heights of more than 7 feet. Similarly, the 'Snowfall' varietal is a white ever-bloomer with canes that stretch between 7 and 12 feet.
  • Trailers: Miniature roses with a cascading growth habit are known as trailers, and can be wonderful in baskets and draping over walls. The 'Sequoia Gold' varietal, one of the best fragrant rose varieties, has double flower blossoms that repeat all season, while the 'Green Ice' varietal is a hardy plant with unusual blooms that start out apricot, open to double white flowers, and age to a cool, light green.
  • Micro-mini: This varietal is the smallest of the miniature roses, growing only 6 to 12 inches tall,with proportional tiny blossoms that are up to 1 inch in size. 'Bambino' has vibrant orange blossoms on an 8 to 12-inch plant, while 'Chasin' Rainbows' has yellow flowers that are edged in scarlet.

How to Grow Hardy Miniature Roses (4)

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Propagating Miniature Roses (test)

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Pruning Miniature Roses

As with other roses, you'll want to prune miniature roses just before their new growth starts in late winter or early spring. Hard pruning is not necessary—simply prune dead or broken wood first, then trim back about one-third of the plant to maintain its shape and encourage new growth.

Overwintering Miniature Roses

Preparing your miniature rose bushes properly for winter is important, though how your specific bush reacts to colder weather can depend on several factors, including the age of the plant, your hardiness zone, and more. In general, miniature roses will stop blooming once the temperatures sustain below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and they cannot withstand cold temperatures below32 degrees Fahrenheit. Winterizing your plants will help protect them against too much damage, ensuring that a heavy frost or deep freeze doesn't kill off your bush for good.

Overwintering Mini Roses in the Ground

One of the most popular (and easiest) methods of overwintering any type of rose bush is called collaring. To utilize this method, begin by removing all the leaves (but not the hips) from the rose bush. Tie the bush up with twine and surround the bush with a wire hoop to form a "collar." Fill the collar with drive leaves (like ones that have fallen from trees in your yard) to help insulate the branches, wrapping the entire bush with a layer of burlap if you'd like to as well. Cover the root zone and crown of the plant with additional soil, mulch, or straw to insulate the roots and protect them from heavy snow or ice.

Overwintering Potted Mini Roses

While ground-planted miniature roses can be winterized, if your miniature roses are planted in containers, they must be moved indoors. Ideally your potted roses could live in an unheated garage that keeps around 40 degrees to allow the plant to go dormant. Do this before winter’s first freeze to give your plant the best shot at surviving the coldest months of the year.

Common Pests and Diseases

Unfortunately, miniature roses are subject to the same problems as larger roses, including black spot, a fungal disease. Powdery mildew can also be an issue. To avoid both of these inflictions, improve the air circulation around your roses by planting each bush a few feet apart and watering the plant from the base of the roots instead of overhead.

As with other roses, systemic rose-care products can also help prevent diseases and discourage pests. Always remove diseased debris and dispose of it to prevent reinfection, and keep an eye out for early signs of insect damage (Japanese beetles,thrips, mites, or chafers). Treat any sign of infection swiftly with an insecticide.

How to Get Miniature Roses to Bloom

As you are preparing for rose blooms, be sure to plant them in an area where they’ll receive six to eight hours of sunlight a day to set them up for success. Use well-draining, loamy soil and fertilize your miniature roses monthly during the growing season of early spring to fall. (A soil mixture high in organic nutrients is also an added bonus.)

If the conditions are right, you’ll be rewarded with colorful, lightly fragrant blooms from mid-spring to early fall, with miniature roses that bloom continuously for two to weeks.

Bloom Months

Miniature roses typically bloom from mid-spring through early fall, often between April and September.

How Long Do Miniature Roses Bloom?

Typically, miniature roses bloom continuously for two to three weeks. Since miniature roses are perennials, they will rebloom every year with proper care (though, some will bloom year-round with the proper conditions). Plenty of sun paired with frequent fertilizing and deadheading will encourage the blooms to last longer.

What Do Miniature Rose Flowers Look and Smell Like?

Like their name suggests, miniature roses are a smaller (yet just as fragrant) version of their full-sized cousins. With a light, lovely scent, miniature roses come in a variety of colors, including pink, red, yellow, and white. Miniature roses grow to a height of 1 to 3 feet, and a width up to 2 feet.

How to Encourage More Blooms

To promote new blooms during the growing season, remove flowers as they fade. Same goes for any yellow leaves or dead growth.

Caring for Miniature Roses After They Bloom

Prune your miniature roses in late winter or early spring, before new blooms appear, trimming back about one-third of the plant. This will maintain its shape and encourage growth.

Deadheading Miniature Rose Flowers

Deadheading, or removing the faded flowers, once a week will promote new growth and additional blooms. Cut off the finished flower just below where the base of the flower joins the stem. If you have a continually blooming varietal (like 'Fairy Moss' and 'Lemon Drift), you can coax repeat blooms by deadheading any faded blooms before they go to hip. (Preventing hips from forming will keep the plant from entering dormancy, which can be signaled by seed production.)

Common Problems With Miniature Roses

While relatively easy to care for, miniature roses are susceptible to the same issues full-sizes roses are. Beware of these common problems.

Black Spot

Black spot on your roses indicate a fungal disease. Warm, wet, or humid weather plays a big part in its development. If you see evidence of black spot, spraying with Bordeaux Mix, neem oil, or sulfur is effective. Then make sure your miniature rose bushes receive full sun, with plenty of water and good air circulation.

Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles feed on many different plants, but are particularly attracted to rose bushes. If congregated in large numbers, they can cause a great deal of damage quickly by feeding on the leaves. There’s no easy way to get rid of Japanese beetles, but hand-picking and dropping them into a bucket of soapy water is the best (although tedious) method.

Buds Won’t Bloom

Are your miniature roses getting six to eight hours of direct sunlight a day? If not, it isn’t getting enough sun, so the buds may not bloom properly.


  • Do mini roses come back every year?

    Yes, miniature roses are hardy perennials that will come back year after year to treat you to vivid, beautiful blooms.

  • Can you leave miniature roses outside in the winter?

    Miniature roses left outside in the winter will naturally start to enter a period of dormancy once the temperatures dip below freezing. However, it's best to winterize your miniature roses (using a technique like collaring) to protect against too much damage.

  • Do mini roses like full sun?

    Mini roses thrive in full sun, requiring at least six hours of sunlight per day.

  • How long do potted miniature roses last?

    Potted miniature roses will typically last two to three years if they are overwintered indoors.

How to Grow Hardy Miniature Roses (2024)
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