The Q&A Archives: Miniature Rose Care

Question: I potted up some miniature roses and so far they keep blooming and look great. Should I deadhead the flowers? Should I prune them? If so, where do I cut?

Answer: Miniature roses will bloom indoors all year, except for about 2 months rest. You can expect a cycle of blooms every 6-8 weeks. With roses potted up at various times, it's possible to have a continual flowering display. Select compact, low-growing varieties for indoor use.

Place the plant in a sunny window. Keep the soil evenly moist, never soggy. Occasionally let the surface dry; then water well from the top of the pot. Fertilize with a houseplant fertilizer, following label directions.

Prune the plant anytime it's necessary to keep it to the desired shape and size. Cut back each branch about one-third its height with sharp, clean shears, just above a five-leaflet leaf. Pinch or trim new shoots to encourage branching. Keep spent blooms picked off.

You may need to repot each year. Use a 4- to 8-inch pot with a mixture of equal parts sterilized soil, peat moss (or other organic humus), and coarse sand (or perlite). Be sure the container has excellent drainage. Soak the freshly planted rose in water almost up to the rim until all bubbling has stopped.

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