Miniature Roses Bloom with Little Space

Miniature Roses

For a gardener who has limited growing space, miniature roses can be a dream come true. With one small bush producing dozens of blooms that can last for weeks, it’s no wonder that potted miniature roses are often substituted for cut flowers. Gardeners with less space can enjoy growing roses on a smaller scale with these lovely plants.

Small but beautiful

Miniature roses are replicas of their larger relatives. Although they are typically smaller than standard roses, miniature roses still provide beautiful, fragrant and versatile flowers. The flowers, only an inch to two inches in diameter, give a delicate texture to the landscape. Miniatures can range in height from 8 inches to 24 inches and have smaller buds, stems and foliage.

The best thing about miniature roses is their carefree nature. Miniature roses can tolerate more shade than hybrid roses in your garden. The plants are tough, but they still need protection when temperatures drop below 100 degrees Ft. Since miniature roses do so well outside, many gardeners like to put the roses on a patio for a few months each year.

Alabama Extension Regional Agent Mike McQueen cautions against keeping miniature roses indoors. Even though miniature roses are often seen being sold in supermarkets or by florists, they are not known to thrive as indoor plants. Miniature roses need about six hours of sunlight, and their delicate roots require abundant water. Mulch will help to protect their shallow root system.

Miniature roses grow well and can also be a great addition to the landscape of your home.  When planted in containers, miniature roses can provide a focal point within a garden landscape. According to McQueen, they can also provide wonderful accents as a border or as a mass planting for spectacular color and variety in your garden. Miniature roses are also popular as ground covers, potted indoor plants, or hanging baskets.

Use a good rose soil mix

McQueen advises gardeners to get a good rose soil mix that will help when growing miniature roses.  He recommends a customized mix of one-third compost, one-third topsoil and one-third sand.

“For the best performance, miniature roses should have about 12 to 16 inches of soil,” said McQueen.”You can house miniature rose bushes in a five-gallon container for up to six years before needing to transplant.”

Miniature roses are a wonderful way to have a variety of blooms within a smaller space. They are even grown on their own roots, so the “suckers” that come up are of the same variety.

For more information about growing roses, visit http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0157/ANR-0157.pdf.


This article originally appeared on the Extension Daily website.

10 Facts to Know about Dogwood Trees

Beloved for their early spring blooms, dogwood trees are featured in many Alabama landscapes and celebrated in festivals throughout the South. The white flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), plentiful across Alabama, is an ornamental deciduous tree native to the eastern half of the United States.

  1. Dogwood trees sport white or pink flowers. However, the true petals are not the four showy blossoms. The tightly packed cluster in the center form the real blooms. What appears to be petals are actually bracts, which is a type of leaf.

 

  1. Flower color of the native dogwood is a creamy white. A naturally occurring variety of the native dogwood, Cornus florida rubra, has pink blooms. Many cultivated varieties are available in nurseries and landscape centers. Dogwood trees often appear in brilliant shades ranging from soft pink to deeper cherry reds. As a result, these showy bracts can attract pollinating insects to the flowers.

 

  1. In addition, there are 17 species of dogwood native to North America. Gardeners are most familiar with the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida). According to Kerry Smith, Master Gardener program coordinator for Alabama Extension, another common species is the Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa), or Chinese Dogwood. Kousa thrives in either full sun or shade and is much tougher than the flowering dogwood.

 

  1. Many towns enjoy dogwood trees so much, they host annual parades or dogwood tours once the trees open their blooms in the early spring. North Carolina, Texas and Atlanta each host popular Dogwood Festivals each year. Vestavia Hills celebrates Alabama’s oldest Dogwood Festival and Trail.

 

  1. Dogwood trees are often a preferred choice for planting because they are low maintenance. Depending on the species planted, you might have a short, stout bush or a 25-foot tall tree. If carefully treated, a mature dogwood tree species may reach up to 30 feet in height as a result.

 

  1. Since dogwoods grow in nature as understory trees, they prefer afternoon shade to shield them from blazing sunlight. According to Alabama Extension regional agent Sallie Lee, dogwoods are pretty versatile as a small tree. “It can be planted where larger-maturing trees would be a nuisance or a hazard,” said Lee. However, dogwoods still need room to grow. Lee advises planting dogwood trees at least 25 feet from structures to give the roots plenty of room to grow.

 

  1. In the Southeast, the dogwood typically begins blooming in early March in the southern portion of Alabama and two to three weeks later in northern areas of the state. The bloom duration can last from two to four weeks.

 

  1. Dogwood branches droop as the tree grows, and may need pruning to clear pedestrian or vehicle traffic. Pruning dogwoods can help shape them and improve their health. Prune if needed anytime after blooming. Alabama Extension regional Agent Mike McQueen said “since dogwoods bloom in early spring before May, wait until after they bloom to prune.”

 

  1. Dogwoods have been used medicinally for generations. Since the bark is a rich source of bitter-tasting tannins, dogwood leaves often treated pain, fevers, backaches, dizziness, or weakness. According to McQueen, “dogwood bark was one of many barks used as a fever medicine before quinine came into general use.” Tea made from the bark was used to treat pain or fever.

 

  1. Blooming by Easter, the tree and its flowers have inspired legends of their part in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Legend says that the bracts of the dogwood are set in the shape of a cross and bear nail marks of the Crucifixion, while the red leaves in autumn point to Jesus’s blood on Calvary.

 

To learn more about dogwoods, see Alabama Extension’s Selection and Care of Dogwoods at http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1077/ANR-1077.pdf.


This article originally appeared on the Extension Daily website.