Care Tips For Your Miniature Roses

Care Tips For Your Miniature Roses
by Marshall Clewis

I learned where to obtain information I need so badly for my miniature rose. I have tended it from bare twigs (stems) as I received it through mail order. It is so full of leaves and fresh stems but when the buds get as far as showing color they just dry off.

After waiting so long and eventually seeing it bud and then the disappointment of losing them is quite discouraging. If you would at your earliest convenience send me the much needed care advice, I would so appreciate your kindness.

H. Ringel Long Island, N. Y.

Trying to decide what could be wrong with miniature rose plants and their growth via mail can be a great deal like prescribing for a human beings illness at long range. Nevertheless, your description “it is so full of leaves and fresh stems, but when the buds get as far as showing color, they just dry off,” graphically describes and fits a very common trouble found in growing miniature roses in the home.

It sounds like insufficient humidity. Just a lack of sufficient moisture in the air immediately surrounding the plant. Try to get your plants in a more humid atmosphere. The simplest way to do this in the modern home is to obtain a tray or pan of at least four or five times the surface area of the total of your miniature rose plants. Put this tray on your window sill, and put in a half inch of pebbles to cover the bottom.

Then pour water in the tray until it comes just below the surface of the pebbles and set your miniature rose pots on the pebbles. We have found that by keeping water in this tray there is enough evaporation immediately around the plants to maintain a delightfully satisfactory humidity rising around the plants proper.

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If growth is as you describe it, otherwise good, then I believe this should solve your bud problems, and let you enjoy the beauty of these exquisite little blooms. I must caution you that this does not serve to supply the soil itself with water. That and the other requirements necessary for growth each individual has to watch out for.

The best spot in my experience for this tray of miniatures is in a sunny window, since there is no substitute for the energy provided by sunlight. And miniature roses can stand the full sun nicely most of the year. Artificial lighting can be used to help out where sunlight is insufficient, but it takes a lot. A warm room is desirable too, as these roses like a reasonable degree of warmth. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, if the temperatures are maintained consistently in the 80s, or the trays are placed immediately over a steam or hot water radiator, or what is still worse a hot air register so the hot, dry air strikes or passes by, the plants arent going to be too happy.-

It sounds as if you have been giving your plants all the desirable environment factors and I believe that by adding the necessary humidity it will solve your problem.

Incidentally, florists growing roses in greenhouses for cut flowers have found these plants seem to enjoy having the undersides of their leaves washed off. They do this by spraying with water from underneath. In the house my wife, when blooms permit it, just turns the plant on its side, or upside down, under the faucet and washes them off.

Another trick” successful rock landscaping designers and rose plant raisers often use is the weekly submersion of the pot in water until bubbling stops and then setting it out to drain. The kitchen sink, the wash basin, or even the bathtub are often used for this, maintaining a water level just above the top edge of the pots, setting them in until the bubbling of the air in the soil ball has stopped; then letting the water out and permitting the surplus water to drain away.

This doesnt take care of all the watering by any means, but once a week seems, to a lot of “Green Thumbers” I know, to be a regular performance. Especially, when you are going to be away from home a few days, use the “submersion treatment” when you leave and as soon as you get back.

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