Miniature Roses – Guide to Different Types of Rose

Miniature Roses

The seductive charm of the miniature or ‘fairy’ roses has made them extremely popular, particularly in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, and more recently to an increasing extent in Great Britain. Most modern cultivars have been bred from hybrid teas, polyanthas, and floribundas, but they have much smaller leaves and flowers. The great advantage of their size is that they can be grown in situations where there would not be room for other types of roses. People who live in towns can grow miniatures in a window box provided the position is open to some sun; or they can grow them in containers on a balcony or patio.

Miniature Roses When they are grown in the garden I prefer them to be in a small area of their own, rather than to see them grown in competition with their more robust cousins.

Almost every type of garden rose grown today owes its origin at least in part to the various species of ‘China’ rose introduced into Europe from the Far East from the early 19th century onwards. The miniature roses originated from the dwarf form of the China rose, Rosa chinensis minima, of which a variety known as ‘Roulettii’ (sometimes accorded species status as R. roulettii) has been used by hybridists. In this form the dwarfing quality is very strong, so that when it is crossed with hybrid teas and floribundas many of the progeny which result are also small in habit. Two methods of propagation are employed: by cuttings, or by grafting on a suitable understock (R. multiflora, being very fibrous rooted, is generally used). Those grown from cuttings are usually sold in pots and produce a dwarf plant. Although regarded by some as more true to character, these have the disadvantage in some circumstances of a less robust root system, which can make them especially vulnerable in conditions of water shortage. Plants produced by grafting and grown in the open fields of a nursery are sold as bare-rooted plants. They are stronger in growth (too strong for some rosarians, who think they are out of character) and have more resistance to drought.

Miniature roses require the same cultivation as other roses and are subject to the same pests and diseases. Plants can be grown in 100 mm (4 in) or 125 mm (5 in) pots in a compost such as John Innes No. 2; good loam-less composts are also suitable. Efficient drainage is essential and should be provided by covering the bottom of the pot with a few small pebbles or similar material. Although very suitable as pot plants, roses are not really happy growing in the home. They may be brought in for some days when in bloom, but they should be put outdoors again afterwards. As they flower over a long season they can, of course, be taken indoors several times during the summer.

Miniature roses are produced for sale mainly by specialists, who also produce miniature standards. Standards are forms in which the development of flowering growths is restricted to the top of a single tall, upright stem. In miniature roses they generally come in two sizes, the smaller stems about 300 mm (12 ins) tall, and the larger ones about 1 m (3 ft) tall. The standards are very attractive in a garden completely devoted to this charming race of roses. Climbing miniatures are also available; they can attain 1.5 m (5 ft) in height when well established, and even more in sheltered positions.

Miniature roses are frequently recommended, because of their size and hardiness, for planting in rock gardens; but this idea is disapproved of, not surprisingly, by purist alpine-plant enthusiasts. They make very attractive cut flowers, and some people use them with telling effect for desk decoration or in a small room where larger plants would be out of place.



‘Angela Rippon’. Tiny flowers on compact plant; lovely fragrant, salmon-pink blooms.

‘Baby Darling’, 300 mm (12 in). Salmon-orange flowers.

‘Baby Masquerade’, 380 mm (15 in) A popular standard; its yellow blooms, flushed with pink and crimson, flower almost throughout the season.

‘Bambino’, 300 mm (12 in). Perfectly shaped rose-pink flowers.

‘Coralin’, 450 mm (18 in). Attractive orange-red flowers.

‘Darling Flame’. A popular variety; bright-orange flowers with gold shading.

‘Dresden Doll’, 380 mm (15 in) A miniature moss rose; lovely china-pink, well-mossed buds, and shell-pink flowers with yellow stamens produced throughout the summer.

‘Easter Morning’, 300 mm (12 in) Its exquisite, double, ivory-white flowers are a little large for the purist but arc highly regarded by some growers.

‘Eleanor’, 300 mm (12 in). An established favourite; small, double, deep coral-pink flowers with a white base.

‘Fashion Flame’. Attractive relatively large coral-pink flowers, which resist wet weather.

‘Fire Princess’. Fiery scarlet-vermilion flowers.

‘Frosty’. Unusual spreading habit; its pale-pink buds open to greenish white flowers with a button eye.

‘Gold Coin’, 250 mm (10 in). Small, double, buttercup-yellow flowers freely produced.

‘Golden Angel’. Golden yellow flowers, rather large for the purist but popular with many growers.

‘Gold Pin’. Masses of scented , bright-yellow flowers.

‘Green Diamond’. A most unusual variety; its pale-pink flowers change after opening to a soft green.

‘Gypsy Jewel’. Attractive coral-orange double flowers.

‘Judy Fischer’. Delicate pink flowers with an undertone of yellow.

‘Kara’. An unusual small, single rose; pink flowers with well-mossed buds.

‘Lavender Lace’. Attractive lavender-coloured flowers. Needs watching for black spot.

‘Little Flirt’. Orange-red flowers with yellow reverse: a striking combination.

‘Magic Carousel’, 300 mm (12 in). Pretty double flowers of white-tipped rosy red.

‘New Penny’, 300 mm (12 Bushy; salmon-orange flowers.

‘Perla de Montserrat’, 300 mm (12 in). A beautiful miniature version of ‘Lady Sylvia’; warm rose-pink, paling at the edges. Dainty and shapely in bud.

‘Pour Toi’, 250 mm (10 in). A popular variety, dainty in growth; the beautifully- formed buds open cream, then turn white with a hint of green.

‘Rise’n’Shine’. A newcomer from North America; buttercup-yellow flowers.

‘Rosina’, 300 mm (12 in). Deservedly a favourite owing to its freely produced, classically shaped bright-yellow flowers.

‘Scarlet Gem’, 250 mm (10 in). A popular variety often grown as a pot plant and also useful as a standard; small, double, scarlet flowers which retain their colour well.

‘Stacey Sue’. An attractive, bushy plant; freely produced, small, mid-pink flowers ideal for exhibition.

‘Starina’, 250 mm (10 in). A very attractive miniature; bi-coloured vivid orange-scarlet and gold flowers.

‘Stars’n’Stripes’. A unique variety; double pink blooms with red stripes.

‘Sweet Fairy’. A low-growing plant; sweetly perfumed lilac-pink flowers.

‘Wee Man’, 380 mm (15 in). A very bushy plant; showy crimson-scarlet flowers, a little on the large side for the purist. Must be watched for black spot.

‘Yellow Doll’, 300 mm (12 in). Soft-yellow flowers with narrow petals.


Climbing Miniatures

‘Climbing Jackie’. Up to 1.5 m (5 ft). Produces a heavy crop of soft-yellow to creamy white flowers in spring, with a further display later. The double flowers have some fragrance.

‘Climbing Pompon de Paris’. A sport of ‘Pompon de Paris’ which will attain 1.8 m (6 ft) and more in a sheltered situation; double, rose-pink blooms. It flowers early (May), but later in the season it will develop only a few of its double blooms. Easily propagated from cuttings, it grows exceedingly well on its own roots.

‘Nozomi’. 1.5 m (5 ft) or more in good soil. Useful if allowed to grow naturally as a ground-cover plant with spreading, arching growths; single peach-pink flowers produced freely in trusses, but there is little recurrent bloom.

‘Pink Cameo’. Up to 1.5 m (5 ft), it produces small, rosy pink flowers throughout the summer. Although classified as a climbing miniature, it is shrub-like in growth, standing well without support.


China Roses

This name is now given to varieties of the older species of China rose.

‘Cecile Brunner’, 600 mm (2 ft). This is the ‘Sweetheart Rose’, almost a century old; numerous scented, pale bluish-pink blooms, perfect in form, recurrent in flowering. Thimble-like in size, the flowers look delightful in miniature arrangements when cut. It is now more familiar in its climbing form for garden display.

‘Little White Pet’, 600 mm (2 ft). Not a true China, but it deserves a place in this section. Beautifully formed creamy white rosette blooms, very free blooming, it is seldom without some flowers during the season.

‘Mutablis’, 1.1 m (3 ft). Can grow taller, especially in a warm, sheltered garden; single, pale-copper flowers which change colour as they mature to pink and finally to coppery crimson. Very free flowering over a long season. Thrives against a wall.

‘Old Blush’, 1 to 1.2 (3 to 4 ft). A well-known variety often called the ‘monthly rose’, probably because of its free-flowering habit; semi-double, rosy pink flowers. Supposed to be the inspiration of Thomas Moore’s poem ‘The Last Rose of Summer’ — a tribute to its long flowering season. Easily grown from cuttings.

‘Perle  d’Or’, 1 m (3 ft). A dwarf shrub, resembling ‘Cecile Brunner’ (see above) but with larger flowers; buff-apricot blooms. Lovely for miniature-flower arrangements; has a beautiful scent.

10. March 2011 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Roses | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Miniature Roses – Guide to Different Types of Rose


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: