best minis for San Diego

flower_girl_10a(z10a San Diego)January 26, 2005

Hi all,

I am planning to buy a mini from a nearby nursery but I do not know what to buy. I am completely new to roses. I plan to keep the mini on my south facing patio in a pot.

Which of the miniatures in the list below do you all think is suitable for Inland San Diego weather?

Except for the three varieties listed as bareroots, all others are available in 5 gallon pots. I would like to get Hot tamale or Rainbow's end but I am not sure if I will be able to plant them properly in pots with the right soil mixture. Also, I need something that is tough and disease resistant.

Any advice is very much appreciated! Many thanks in advance!

They have 31 varieties to choose from:

Hot Tamale (Bareroot)

Rainbow's end (bareroot)

Cal Poly


Neon cowboy

Ruby ruby (Bareroot)

Sun Sprinkles

Black Jade

Baby Paradise


Denver's dream


Funny girl

Gingerbread man



Lemon Drop

Little Paradise


Jeanne Lajoie

Kiss and Tell

Minnie Pearl

Mandarin Sunblaze

raspberry Sunblaze

Rise 'n shine

Santa Claus

Wild Plum

Space Odyssey


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Texas, Rainbows End, Heartbreaker, Cupcake, Gizmo and the Sunblaze roses are by far the heartiest roses on your list for Inland San Diego County. A south facing exposer can get very hot during the summer depending on where you are located. I live up against the foothills north/east of El Cajon and potted roses do not do that well without some afternoon shade. Just a drop down shade (the roll up kind) will do the trick. If you provide your pots with some protection from the direct hot summer sun and lots of water (daily durning the summer) I think any of the roses on your list will do fine.

BTW, When you plant roses in pots Do Not put a saucer under them! Letting them sit in standing water is a death sentence. Also the cheaper clay pots are also harmful. Pots should be glazed or heavy plastic. If you want to use unglazed pots then get them big enough to slip a plastic pot into. Its a good idea for wood planters also as they rot. If you get the outside pot large enough you can put mulch around the edges between the two pots. This will help keep moisture around the pot and help keep the roots cool that will eventually fill the pots. If you need protection from water run off on your patio then place an extra large deep saucer (atleast 2" deep) filled with gravel under your pots which will keep the pot from sitting in the water that has drained through. As for a potting soil I perfer the new Kellogs organic mix. Home Depot carries it and it is quite reasonable compared to other organic brands. What ever you use don't settle for a cheap all purpsoe brand if you want your rose to grow well and bloom for you.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2005 at 6:22PM
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flower_girl_10a(z10a San Diego)

Thank you MsM84 for such detailed advice. I actually purchased Rainbow's end and Hot Tamale last weekend from Kniffings (El Cajon). I bought bareroots and got them potted (5 gallon black plastic pots) in the nursery itself, of course they used some commercial soil mix of their own. I will let the plants stay in this mix for this season and repot with a new mix next winter.
The bareroot forms had already grown some leaves and new shoots and after planting in pots there has been no new growth, rather most of the old growth is withering away slowly. I have watered them twice since Saturday, as you know its been warm lately. The soil seems to drain well right now. I hope the plants will survive. I have put them on the south-facing patio with the full blast of sun (morn to evening). I will take your advice now and put them in shade during afternoons.
Is there any particular advice you would want to give me regarding special care during the first few weeks? I will be very grateful for any help.
Many thanks again for taking so much time to write your response!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2005 at 5:28PM
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Our weather this week has been very warm and dry so it doesn't surprise me that the new growth is wilting. You need to get some B-1 which is a plant shock solution you water the new plants with. Follow the directions on the bottle. (I think it is 1 tbs. per gal.) They are going to need extra water right now so as long as the soil seems to drain well water morning and late afternoon and keep them out of the direct sun until they perk up. If you had known there would be growth on these plants before you bought them I would have suggested spraying them with Cloud Cover which helps to keep the stems and growth from loosing moisture. If they don't seem to do well after a couple of weeks don't be afraid to call Ted Kniffing. He is a great guy and vice-president of the East County Rose Society.

One other thing I might add is once you move them back into full sun and before summer when things really heat up, get some white latex paint and paint those black pots white! Right now the newly forming roots can use the heat (black obsorbs heat) but when summer comes that heat can burn the roots especially with the more intense summer sun on a south side.

If you have more questions don't be afraid to email me directly. If there is one thing I love its helping people care for mini roses ;o)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2005 at 2:17AM
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flower_girl_10a(z10a San Diego)

Dear MsM84,
Thank you again! I will buy B-1 this weekend and keep the plants out of direct sunlight. I have also been bringing the plants indoors for the night. I am truly worried about them and I just hope they grow. My husband bought them for my birthday. :)
As you have advised, I will give them another 2 weeks and if they don't revive, I'll call Mr. Kniffings.
Thanks so much for all the advice!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2005 at 11:57AM
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You are very welcome, but unless its freezing outside there is no need to bring them inside. Infact it may do more harm then good. Inside is alot warmer then they are use to plus the lack of air circulation is not a good thing. If you are concerned about them put an old sheet or blanket over them or better yet get some of that Cloud Cover I mentioned before. Armstrongs and Plant House nursery both carry it. Not sure if Kniffings does or not. It will protect them from not only drying out, but heat and cold. Remember when you got them they had been outside and planting them in pots doesn't change that fact.

BTW, Happy belated Birthday :o)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2005 at 1:19AM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)

When I lived in El Cajon, I grew all of my miniature roses in pots. I didn't make an effort to give them any afternoon shade, altho' that might have been a good idea. The most important thing is not to let container planted roses dry out.

I now live in an area which is much hotter than El Cajon for days on end and still grow minis in containers. With good drainage and plenty of water, the roses don't show any stress at all.



    Bookmark   February 16, 2005 at 5:04AM
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flower_girl_10a(z10a San Diego)

Thank you MSM84 for your birthday wishes! Thank you Lyn for your input too. My Rainbow's end has shown new growth and I think it has settled in now but it is my Hot Tamale that worries me. Though there is some new growth, its branches are still quite bare. I am hoping things will improve as the sun comes out after these incessant rains. My tiny jasmine has buds but they are unable to open without sunshine.

Hope the sun comes out soon,

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 12:10PM
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Don't limit youself to this nursery, although it looks like a decent selection of minis to choose from. Mini's can also be ordered by mail order from all over the U.S. (Rosemania, Nor'East, Johnny Bechnel Roses, Almost Heaven Roses, etc.)

Also, make sure you visit the Del Mar Fair this summer to see what others are growing down there and where to get them.

I used to live in Del Mar and here are the ones on your list that should do well done there:

Hot Tamale
Rainbow's End
Neon Cowboy
Minnie Pearl
Santa Claus

    Bookmark   April 17, 2005 at 2:27PM
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Portiemom(San Diego)

Oh wow, what a great list! And you can find all these in the San Diego area? Would you be willing to share the name of the nursery where these can be found? I'd love to add to my collection.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 6:14PM
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flower_girl_10a(z10a San Diego)

Hi All!
Paribear thanks for the advice. I will definitely visit the fairgrounds this summer. My Rainbow's End and Hot Tamale are blooming and are doing quite well considering its their first spring season. :)
Portiemom, the nursery's name is Kniffings Nursery. You can visit their website at
Their address/ph no. is 14940 Oak Creek Road El Cajon, CA 92021 [619.561.0611] Their stock and service were excellent. I got my bareroots potted right at the nursery for 3 bucks extra in regular black pots. The plants were completely disease-free and have not yet been inflicted by anything serious except for a very mild aphid attack.
Hope this info was helpful ... I have uploaded a few pics of the flowers .. enjoy!
Happy spring!

Here is a link that might be useful: Rainbow's end photographs

    Bookmark   April 20, 2005 at 4:11PM
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