Roses forum: When to move a supermarket mini rose to a larger container?

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Name: Jane
Tobyhanna, PA (Zone 5a)
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PAgirl63
Mar 23, 2016 6:05 PM CST
I'm a sucker for mini roses - you know, the ones that show up in supermarkets for Valentine's Day, Easter, etc. Hard to believe there are usually 6 little bushes in just ONE of those little pots. Anyway, the first year I got one of those "presents" from my hubby, I separated and planted all the mini roses outside that spring. Unfortunate, they just didn't do well and only one made it through the following winter. So, the next year, when my hubby gave me another one of those cute little pots, I decided to try something different.

I put each plant in its own 8 inch pot and kept them outside all summer on the back deck. They thrived! When fall came, I figured I'd try and winter them over in my garage. Success!

I've been to keep 4 individual healthy plants alive for almost five years now. The thing is, each year they get a little BIGGER. Last year they didn't bloom as well, and I wonder if it's because they need larger pots? How much larger should I try? Do minis like to be pot-bound? Or do they like a lot of room? Any advice would be appreciated.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Mar 23, 2016 6:50 PM CST

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Minis do not like to be pot bound, but they don't especially like to have too much room either. When I grew minis in 5-gallon containers, I always planted lots of annuals or tender perennials in the same container. The companion plants can absorb the excess moisture that could be harmful to the potted rose. Lobelia and petunias are nice companion plants for potted roses.

I always repotted my container roses every two or three years, even if they were going to be replanted in a container of the same size. The soil in a container quickly gets depleted of nutrients or gets compacted, neither of which provides a good growing medium.
Name: Jason
Gold Bar, Washington (Zone 8b)
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riverman123
Mar 27, 2016 6:41 PM CST
Agree with ZUZU
Madison, Alabama (formerly NC)
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stillwood
Apr 2, 2016 7:48 PM CST
I'm glad I saw this. I could not resist a pretty coral (peach) mini rose from Publix during the winter (and did not try very hard to resist). I found it to be 3 little plants, each of which is now in its own pot (I think they are 8 inch pots). After reading this I am going to leave them in those pots for this year.

Is it correct that they would not be hardy outside during the winter on a porch? If it would be necessary to move them inside then, they will just have to stay in all the year as I don't like moving plants in and out of the house. Over the years I have found too many hitchhikers coming in with the plants. So now I have the "in house" buddies and the "outside" buddies and they don't mix. So - have you found these little plants to be cold hardy (down to the 20s)?
Name: Jane
Tobyhanna, PA (Zone 5a)
The "Garden" is my Happy Place!
Garden Ideas: Master Level
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PAgirl63
Apr 2, 2016 8:34 PM CST
Stillwood, they are not cold hardy for me ... but I live in the Pocono Mtns. of PA. You live in a much warmer climate. Maybe someone else can chime in and let you know if you can leave them on a porch in the winter in your neck of the woods. Smiling
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
Apr 3, 2016 5:50 AM CST
They are hardy for me here in Kansas. They do better if I grow them in the pot for a while, then get them in the ground in their permanent home before the ground freezes. I've had some for 9 years.
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Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
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gemini_sage
Apr 6, 2016 8:33 AM CST
Stillwood, I think your minis would fair better outdoors during winter than indoors- it's tough to provide enough bright light to keep roses happy indoors and they tend to get spindly and weak. If you want them to remain in containers you may want to consider overwintering them in the pots outside with some protection, like sitting on the ground next to a structure with mulch piled on them. I suspect they would be fine without protection in your zone, but an extended stint of 20F may damage the roots. Not sure about that, but better safe than sorry.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Madison, Alabama (formerly NC)
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stillwood
Apr 6, 2016 9:00 AM CST
I would like to keep them out. The inside space under lights is crowded with African violets and orchids. The roses keep getting pushed to the edge. So I will definitely plan (in the next couple of weeks - as soon as frost danger passes) to move them out where they will get good light for the summer. That way I assume they will be much stronger to survive the winter. Thanks to everyone for the info - we will see how it ends up in about a year.
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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Cinta
Apr 7, 2016 10:50 AM CST
I picked up a pretty peach one at the grocery store last year for my pots on the patio. My patio pots are large and I plant perennials in the pots with the roses. We start to get a lot of frost days in Nov.

That is when I pile leaves on top of the pots and push them against the back part of the patio against the building. They survive most times sometime they do not make it through the winter if we have one of those bad winters.
Madison, Alabama (formerly NC)
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stillwood
Apr 13, 2016 6:46 AM CST
The 3 minis I have now (originally came in one pot and turned out to be 3) - as I said, I have them in 3 separate small pots. Does anyone know how large these grocery store minis get to be usually - no label in them originally. As advised, I am ready to move them out to larger quarters outside and see how they do. But I don't want particularly to dedicate 3 large pots to them and am wondering just how much room they will need - I would like to put all three in one large pot, but that may be pushing it a bit. 2 may be the limit. So based on experience, does anyone know how large a single one may get to be?
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
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gemini_sage
Apr 13, 2016 7:15 AM CST
They seem to vary a lot Susan, I've had some get surprisingly big and others stay quite small. I think I would use last years growth as a guide to what pot size. All 3 in one large pot may be the best idea, that way there would be enough water usage to keep the media from staying wet for too long.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Jane
Tobyhanna, PA (Zone 5a)
The "Garden" is my Happy Place!
Garden Ideas: Master Level
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PAgirl63
Apr 14, 2016 4:45 PM CST
zuzu,

Well I took your advice and took my minis out of the garage, pruned off the dead stuff, and potted them up in fresh potting mix - a mix of store bought organic potting soil, some leaf mold from my compost pile, and some perlite to aid in drainage. I couldn't get over how compacted the old soil was. The plants were actually rootbound. Healthy looking roots, thankfully. I put 3 in a large 20 inch wide pot, and the largest one in a 12 inch pot. I'll keep them outside in the shade for a few days then gradually move them into the sun. It's supposed to be great weather here for the next week or so 60-70's. Since April can be such a tricky month, I'll keep an old blanket handy to throw over the pots if temps are supposed to drop below freezing. Crossing Fingers!

stillwood, my minis were store bought (Kordana, was the type I think) and one got to be at least 18 inches tall and just as wide! The others stayed around a foot high and wide. Smiling
Madison, Alabama (formerly NC)
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stillwood
Apr 14, 2016 7:52 PM CST
Well - I was a bit dismayed to see 2 days ago that the leaves on one of my mini roses looked dry from where I was sitting and I knew it had been watered enough. A closer inspection showed spider mites! Where does those little things come from - none ever seen here before and suddenly there they are! I grabbed it, ran outside, and hosed it off. Checking the other 2 showed some also on the second one. Out it went. The 3rd one is fine, but today I took it out also. Hosed all off again. They will stay out. Spider mites were a real issue in my greenhouse back in NC - they like it hot and dry. Spider mites and mealy bugs - nuisances! Part of nature, but I wish they would stick to wild plants and leave mine alone!

Name: Jane
Tobyhanna, PA (Zone 5a)
The "Garden" is my Happy Place!
Garden Ideas: Master Level
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PAgirl63
Apr 14, 2016 8:02 PM CST
stillwood, I get those pesty little gnats! Sort of like spider mites and mealy bugs. All of a sudden they are just THERE! I started lightly sprinkling cinnamon on the top of the soil in the pots and it seems to keep them away. I don't know if the cinnamon kills them. I hope so Big Grin
Madison, Alabama (formerly NC)
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stillwood
Apr 14, 2016 8:11 PM CST
PAgirl63 - do you mean fungus gnats? They are a nuisance, but fortunately don't seem to harm the plants. I think letting the top of the soil dry out a bit helps discourage them.

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