University of Illinois Extension
Miniature Roses - Different Kinds of Roses - Our Rose Garden - University of Illinois Extension



Miniatures are just that–small bushes with small flowers. Miniature roses have enjoyed a remarkable increase in popularity over the years. Many factors play into the increase, not the least of which is their adaptability to small gardens and containers and their dependability as extremely winter-hardy garden roses. Miniatures descended from a single dwarf China rose called‘Rouletii.' Miniatures were very popular with Chinese gardeners and only became popular in the United States when breeding programs started to blossom just after World War II.

Miniatures range in height from 3 inches to 18 inches. Most are continuous bloomers with little or no fragrance. As a class, they are excellent for containers, borders, rock gardens, and other small spaces. Miniatures are almost always grown on their own root, not grafted. As a result, they are extremely winter-hardy. Much of the hybridization work on miniatures is now done in the United States producing many of the better contemporary varieties.

A quote from David Austin, a prominent English rose breeder, sums up the miniature rose revolution: "It is an odd fact that the miniature roses have received more attention in the land of the‘bigger and better,' the United States, than anywhere else." Maybe it's time to think of miniatures not just as plants growing on windowsills or in clay pots in grandmother's kitchen, but as versatile garden plants.

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