How to Plant and Grow Miniature Roses

Use this guide to grow miniature roses in containers, as flowerbed borders, hedges, or as groundcover.

Sun Sprinkles Rose

Edward Gohlich

Gardeners with limited space can grow roses by cultivating miniature roses in containers, but they grow just as well in a garden bed. Miniature roses emerged in the 1930s as an accidental result of rose hybridizing. These perennials usually stay under 2 feet tall and respond to all the care basics of regular-size roses—deep irrigation, sunshine, and regular fertilizing. Some miniature roses have the standard upright form of many of their standard-size relatives, but they also come in climbing and cascading varieties. In addition to being beautiful and fragrant, they have no thorns and are robust rebloomers.

Miniature roses are extremely hardy, but they need extra winter protection in cold climates. Ensure the plant doesn't die back to the roots in Zone 5 and colder by burying the plant in a mound of soil.

Miniature rose Overview

Genus Name Rosa
Common Name Miniature rose
Plant Type Rose
Light Part Sun, Sun
Height 1 to 3 feet
Width 1 to 2 feet
Flower Color Blue, Green, Orange, Pink, Red, White
Foliage Color Chartreuse/Gold
Season Features Fall Bloom, Spring Bloom, Summer Bloom
Special Features Cut Flowers, Fragrance, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Zones 10, 11, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Propagation Stem Cuttings

Where to Plant Miniature Roses

Plant miniature roses outdoors in Zones 4-11. In colder areas they can be grown in containers indoors and then moved outdoors in spring. Select a location that receives 6 to 8 hours of sun a day. They can tolerate partial sun but won't bloom as profusely. These plants need rich, loamy, and well-drained soil to be at their best.

Miniature roses adapt well to flowerbed edging, front-of-the-border socializing with perennials and annuals, and low hedges.

How and When to Plant Miniature Roses

Plant miniature rose bushes much the same way you would plant full-size rose bushes. Dig a hole the same height as the pot it came in and about a foot wider. Loosen the roots after removing the plant. Spread out the roots on top of the soil that you've enhanced with organic matter. Add mulch after watering.

Like bigger roses, miniature roses do best if planted in spring.

Miniature Roses Care Tips

Miniature roses aren't fussy and require the essentials: sunlight, water, and well-draining soil.


Miniature roses do best in full sun at least six to eight hours per day. Too much shade can cause them to become sparse. In addition, lots of sun helps with disease resistance.

Soil and Water

The best soil for miniature roses is loamy, rich, and well-drained. If you plant them in containers, use a light, nutrient-packed soil that drains well to avoid root rot. Water deeply and add water when the soil is dry, about 1 inch per week. Potted miniature roses, especially those grown indoors, will need more water than in the garden.

When watering miniature roses, aim the hose or watering can at the base of the plant to avoid getting the leaves and blooms wet.

Temperature and Humidity

Moderate temperatures are the best environment for miniature roses—they do best when it's around 70ºF. If it's going to be below freezing, bring any potted plants indoors to protect them from the cold. Protect plants in your garden by adding additional soil to the base of the plants and topping it with mulch.


Roses need plenty of fertilizing to bloom throughout the season. A commercial rose food or all-purpose product is fine. Begin fertilizing in spring when the first leaves appear, then repeat after each abundant bloom. Consult product label instructions to determine the correct amount to use. Stop feeding your plants six to eight weeks before the first frost.


Prune roses in late winter or early spring before new blooms appear. Cut away any dead wood and trim back around one-third of the plant to maintain its shape and encourage growth. Deadhead roses weekly to promote new growth during the season.

Potting and Repotting Miniature Roses

To pot miniature roses, use a container 6 to 8 inches deep with drainage holes. It helps to add gravel to the bottom of the pot to facilitate drainage. Use potting soil with good nutrients that promotes drainage. Keep indoor potted miniature roses where they'll get plenty of sunlight for most of the day, or they won't thrive. Also, they may need some additional humidity to stay healthy.

Pests and Problems

Keep fungal diseases like powdery mildew from infecting your miniature roses by ensuring good airflow around your plants and always watering them at the base and not from overhead. If you see signs of infestation by insects like Japanese beetles or mites, quickly spray your plants with a blast of water or insecticidal soap. If pests persist, try a chemical insecticide to minimize the damage.

How to Propagate Miniature Roses

Cuttings are the way to propagate miniature roses. Plant healthy cuttings in a moist soil and perlite mix after snipping the base for better water absorption. Don't overwater the cutting or the soil—just mist it. Set a plastic bag over the top of the cutting, but don't let it touch the cutting. Keep it indoors in a bright area without direct sunlight, After a month or two, check that the stem has grown roots by gently tugging on it to see if there's resistance. When that happens, remove the plastic bag. Once the stem is growing leaves, you can pot it or transplant it to your garden.

Types of Miniature Roses

'Amy Grant' Rose

Amy Grant Rose

Doug Hetherington

Rosa 'Amy Grant' bears light pink blooms in a classic hybrid tea form poised on glossy, disease-resistant foliage. The plant grows 2 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9

'Baby Boomer' Rose

Baby Boomer Rose

Doug Hetherington

Rosa 'Baby Boomer' offers gorgeous, baby-pink blooms atop long stems, so they're perfect cut flowers. The foliage is glossy and dark green. Plants grow 2 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-10

'Baby Love' Rose

Baby Love Rose

Doug Hetherington

Rosa 'Baby Love' usually outperforms all other roses, large and small. Single buttercup-colored blooms continually smother the upright plant. The bright green foliage is exceptionally disease resistant. Plants grow 3 feet tall. Zones 5-9

'Black Jade' Rose

Black Jade Rose

Doug Hetherington

Rosa 'Black Jade' features midnight-red, almost black buds that unfurl into velvety red flowers. The plant grows 2 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-10

'Carrot Top' Rose

Carrot Top Roses

Doug Hetherington

Rosa 'Carrot Top' bears double-petal, sizzling orange flowers. The rounded plants grow 12-16 inches high. Zones 5-9

'Dancing Flame' Rose

Dancing Flame Rose

Doug Hetherington

Rosa 'Dancing Flame' features cerise-pink edging on yellow petals. An abundant bloomer, it also has glossy, disease-resistant foliage. It grows to 2 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9

'Gourmet Popcorn' Rose

Gourmet popcorn

Doug Hetherington

Rosa 'Gourmet Popcorn' produces cascading clusters of fragrant snowy-white flowers on a disease-resistant plant all season. It grows 2 feet tall. Zones 5-9

'Little Artist' Rose

Little Artist Rose

Doug Hetherington

Rosa 'Little Artist' shows off semidouble ruffled blooms that open to reveal a splashy color scheme of scarlet petals with large white centers. It blooms profusely and grows 16 inches tall. Zones 5-9

'Magic Carousel' Rose

Magic carousel roses

Doug Hetherington

Rosa 'Magic Carousel' offers rounded petals edged in red that frame snow-white centers. The vigorous plants grow 18 inches tall and wide. Zones 5-11

'Rainbow's End' Rose

Rainbow's end roses

Doug Hetherington

Rosa 'Rainbow's End' blooms feature lemon-yellow petals highlighted by scarlet edging. The colors stay true when grown indoors or outdoors. It grows 22 inches high and wide. Zones 4-11

'Sun Sprinkles' Rose

Sun Sprinkles Rose

Edward Gohlich

Rosa 'Sun Sprinkles' is an award winner with perfectly formed, deep yellow blooms and a spicy scent. This variety features generous flowering and glossy, dark green foliage. It grows to 2 feet tall. Zones 5-9

Miniature Rose Companion Plants


detail of purple heliotrope
Helen Norman

This sweet-scented flower with purple or blue blooms is equally at home in a garden bed or a container. Heliotrope is covered in blooms during the summer and is particularly fragrant when planted in groups to maximize its subtle fragrance. Zones 10–11


Landmark Pink Dawn' Lantana

David Nevala

Lantana is a low-maintenance sun-loving flower with small buds that attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. It comes in a range of colors. When grown as an annual, it reaches 3 feet tall. Zones 8–11


Verbena 'Lascar Burgundy'
Justin Hancock

Verbena blooms in cool spring weather before most of the other plants in the garden. The flower stalks bloom all season and continue to grow and produce new buds. Verbena also grows well in containers.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is rose the country's national flower?

    Yes, it is, and it's also the official flower of four states: North Dakota, Georgia, Iowa, and New York.

  • Why aren't my rosebushes blooming?

    It could be the fertilizer you're using. If your fertilizer has too much nitrogen, it can encourage miniature roses to produce greenery instead of blooms. Use a fertilizer specifically for roses for the best results.

  • What are the meanings of the different rose colors?

    Giving roses of particular colors can carry significant meaning to the giver and the recipient. For example, red roses indicate love, yellow means loyalty and friendship, peach roses represent gratitude or modesty, and lavender can express either enchantment or love at first sight.

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