Using Miniature Roses

Miniature roses can be used in any sunny spot where a small plant is needed. City dwellers find them indispensable for balconies and small gardens. They are sensational in containers and useful for edgings, low growing hedges and small beds where space is limited.

In larger gardens, minis find a home wherever color is needed. Use them instead of flowering annuals for permanent massed beds of color. They are perfect for adding a point of interest at the base of mailboxes, flag poles and lamp posts. As they require somewhat less direct sun than larger roses, they can carpet the ground around small ornamental trees such as magnolias, Japanese maples, and cherries.

Some miniature roses, such as 'Red Cascade,' are spreading plants, making them ideal for ground covers and hanging baskets. Choose them for banks that are difficult to care for or mow instead of junipers or ivy.

Mini-Floras: Miniature roses are fine flowering plants for both house and garden. But the newer "big mini" or patio-type roses in the Mini-Flora group can be even more rewarding. Mini-Floras have the handsome foliage, flower form and single stems of hybrid teas, but they are bushy and bloom as abundantly as the floribundas from which they are mainly derived. Bred by J. Benjamin Williams, the first Mini-Flora was 'Patio Patty', but now 11 varieties are available.

Indoors, Mini-Floras should have a sunny south window or strong artificial light. If any leaf yellowing and drop occurs when a newly purchased plant is brought into the home, simply repot in the next size pot and cut the plant back, then water and feed regularly. Mr. Williams advises feeding weekly with a complete fertilizer. Pruning regularly will increase bloom.

Plants grown in the garden can be potted up and brought indoors before the first hard freeze. Potted Mini-Floras summered outdoors are brought in at the same time. Cut the plants back about 1/3. The only problem indoors may be red spider, which is easily controlled by flushing the leaves - especially the undersides with water every week or two.

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