Another Newbie

gunznrozesMarch 2, 2008

I started growing roses 2 years ago & have been fairly successfil so far. Now I want to try Mini's.

I have a 24ft. raised strip in front of my house that receives 8-10 hrs. of full sun. What mini's do you recommend? I want mini's that grow less than 2ft.tall? Do I need a special root stock for Fl? Do I treat them like my Hybrid Teas? Can I get a lot of flowering in the Fl sun?

Where do you recommend purchasing from? Sorry for so many questions.

Thanks in advance.

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I'm hoping that someone in FL will see your thread and help you out. That location though and the sun sounds idea for minis. I don't treat my minis any different than the large varieties. I'm not aware of a special rootstock for minis the way they have the larger roses though. There are still some that you will need to spray the same as you do your HTs. My minis perform better in the hottest summer full sun months than the larger roses I have with the exception of Floribundas.

Nor'East is an excellent nursery to buy roses from, the other one I've dealt with doesn't ship to FL and is closing soon.

As far as recommending roses though our zones are similar I don't deal with the humidity you do. You say you are looking for ones 2' and under, how about what colors?

Here is a link that might be useful: Nor'East Mini Roses

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 4:56PM
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Thanks lesdvs9....I'm looking to buy mostly red but would consider other colors too. I've already checked the Nor'East sight & I think I'll call them & ask their advice too.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 1:19PM
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I have it on good authority that Love 'Ya Dad is a really nice red rose. It might get a little taller than you're looking for. I find that all roses in my zone get a foot taller or more depending on variety than tallest expectations given:) This rose is available at Nor'East.

I'm starting a couple of reds this year but I got them from the nursery here that's closing.

You might post your question on the main Rose Forum for maybe more responses.

Here is a link that might be useful: Red

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 9:46PM
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If you want them to stay low don't get grafted varieties! Own root minis usually do just fine. Grafted miniature roses are hard to find anyway and they are more expensive.

I know a lady who buys those mini roses from Lowe's. I don't really recommend them but hers are looking really good right now. She has all colors in the circle of her drive way and boy do they stand out. These are landscape roses for the most part and it would be hard to get cut roses.

If you want roses for cutting you'll want to go to mail order. Last year I got some nice ones from Almost Heaven.

And you will want to order the ones that say they are low. The way things grow in Florida a meduim high rose will be too high.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 3:21PM
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Thanks for the advice. I just ordered from Nor'East. 7 Miss Flippins,1 Minnie Pearl, 1 Caliente & 1 Hot Tamale. I'll use the M. Flippins as a border & the others in my flower bed. This is just the beginning I'm afraid.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 5:32PM
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yes it is just a beginning i started out with 10 got over 200 minis now. minis are wonderful. a couple of the ones you got will get a lot taller than 2 foot though. Miss Flippins and Hot Tamle are great exhibition roses. exhibiting is a really fun hobby and lots of nice people willing to share advice about growing roses good luck to you and happy gardening

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 7:09PM
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yes it is just a beginning i started out with 10 got over 200 minis now. minis are wonderful. a couple of the ones you got will get a lot taller than 2 foot though. Miss Flippins and Hot Tamle are great exhibition roses. exhibiting is a really fun hobby and lots of nice people willing to share advice about growing roses good luck to you and happy gardening.>

I was hoping they don't go over 30" At least I was told that at Nor'East. After reading this forum I already want several other varieties.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 7:52PM
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mike_in_new_orleans(9a/ coastal LA)

Gunznroses, you asked about rootstock. Since you've already ordered (Nor'east is great, by the way) its a moot point for now, but minis are almost always sold on their own roots. Just wondering, though, what part of Florida you live in, because the reason Fortuniana is highly recommended as rootstock in Florida is that root-eating nematodes are a major concern in south and central Florida. If you're north of there, you're probably fine, and I'mguessing by your 9a zone listing that maybe you are in the northern part. I know a few folks here in New Orleans who actually graft their own minis onto Fortuniana, but I'm not sure if any nurseries actually sell them that way.

Where nematodes ARE a problem, it tends to take them a few years to build up their populations as they eat roots, so roses may grow fine for a the first 2-4 years then gradually become weeker. People have been known to replace all the soil around their roses every few years to keep them in check. Not a very feasible plan if you have more than a few. Alternately they can be grown in pots with non-native potting soil and the pots placed on pavers or some other barrier to the garden soil. If you are in the more northern half of the state, none of this should be a direct concern, but it might be good information to file away for future reference.

By the way, I have Miss Flippins, Caliente, Minnie Pearl, and Hot Tamale; all great roses; none taller than about medium height for a mini. My miss Flippins is 5 years old and tops about at just about 2 and a half feet, but I've seen it elsewhere grow 5 feet tall--don't know why.

Caliente is newer, a wonderful deeper red with great form, but the color fades to crimson after the first few days open. What's great about it is its continuous blooming, rather than in distinct cycles. Mine is not too tall, but then I've only had it a year and a half.

Hot Tamale constantly changes colors as the sun exposure affects the blooms. Looks great and has exhibition form.

Minni Pearl also blooms profusely, has gorgeous form in our Gult Coast winters, but the blooms looks less shapely in the heat of summer, with less subtle shadings of pink. Still it remains healthy year round.

Some other varieties to enable you about:
Salute, a really deep, rich red, a true mini, with slightly smaller blooms than those you've ordered. Mine doesn't grow over 2 feet and is a little spreading.

Absolutely, the shortest rose I have. Mine stays happy in a 12" diameter pot. Low and slightly spreading. The blooms are just over 1" across. Think of this as a smaller, softer-colored variation on Hot Tamale. Wonderdul blends of peach, cream, and pink. It is also heat-tolerant and one of the most disease-resistant roses I have.

Vista, medium-low and spreading, rather stiff growth, with clear lavender blooms of about 1 3/4". Supposedly fragrant (as is Hot Tamale reportedly) but I can't smell much from either.

Starina is a classic mini, very healthy and easy to grow, Vibrant vermillian red in winter, deep orange in hotter weather. It stays low, too.

Nor'east has many wonderful rose varieties, but many are taller.

Just one care note about minis. They are just as easy to grow as larger roses in my experience, and they tend to rebloom quicker and produce more blooms overall. But they are more appealing to spider mites for some reason, which CAN be devestating. Spider mites aren't killed off by many of the insecticides out there, so you have to make sure the label specifies effective against mites. But, the easiest remedy is to give your bushes a good strong water blast shower every few days during dry weather. Spider mites hate water and it literally washes them off the leaves.

Happy mini-growing!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 10:00AM
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Thanks for all the info MIKE..I live on the W. Coast of Fl. in Homosassa, which is in the southern tip of Citrus County. Is their any way to treat for mematodes before I plant? One of the areas I'm planting in is a large raised bed where I built up the area with 12" of topsoil from a local nursery about 3 years ago & last year I had trouble growing annuals there. Ever a couple of repeat plantings yielded limited success.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 12:24PM
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mike_in_new_orleans(9a/ coastal LA)

Wow, I had to look it up on a map. You're kind of right in the middle between North and South. You should probably consult some rosarians in your neck of the woods. You can do web searches for rose societies in specific cities. I know Tampa has one; not sure if there are some closer. I don't personally have to deal with nematodes, so any info I have is 2nd hand. I've read that they can't survive under solid concrete, so there have been known instances of roses living successfully right up against a building foundation or patio, where some of the roots sneak a little way under the concrete. Of course, you can't just pave over your rose bed, for obvious reasons. There's a great book I got a while back on E-Bay called "For the Love of Roses in Florida and Elsewhere," by Barbara Oehlbeck, published in 2000. It talks quite a bit about roses that can tolerate the nematodes --mostly old china hybrids and, of course, fortuniana. The reason they do well is because of extra vigorous fibrous roots, those little white hair-like roots that actually do the feeding for the plant. They tend to grow faster than the nematodes can destroy them. Few other roses can.

The best thing I know to advise for your soil is to add as much aged organic content as possible, from manure and peat moss, to bone meal, pine bark mulch, and alfalfa meal (the salt-free kind). You can go ahead and plant the plants you get, but talk to some local rosarians as soon as possible, and see what they say. Worst case scenario, you may have to pick other Floridians' brains for area nurseries that can either sell minis on fortuniana (which I haven't heard of) or have some legal permission/ability to custom graft plant stems onto fortuniana rootstock. I know Jim Mills in Buckatuna MS custom grafts, but you should be able to find someone a lot closer. Minnie Pearl is already off patent. Hot Tamale will be in a few years. Miss Flippins and Caliente are newer. You could also cover the bed in pavers and put the minis in pots with purchased potting soil, but I doubt that is what you had in mind for that flower bed.
One last idea; I don't know if its valid. But you can check with commercial suppliers of natural preditors and see if there is anything that hunts and eats those nematodes(they're pretty tough little bastards, microscopic, too), Perhaps another type of nematode. Hydro-gardens is the one name I can remember; they have a handy website. But there are other sellers of preditory insects, mites, and (I think) nematodes.

I hope that's helpful.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 9:18PM
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Thanks again Mike. I will call my local Govt. Ag. Agency on Mon. & try to locate a local rosarian. If I could find Mini's on Fortuniana rootstock they probably would become very big mini's.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 12:54AM
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Gunsnroses, try to get in touch with Dr. Malcolm Manners at Florida Southern College and ask about the nematodes. He's in Lakeland and should be near you. The man is incredible! He is also often out of the country on business, and I don't know his schedule, so I'd also keep in touch with some local societies. If you want to locate a local rose society go the the American Rose Society They will have a list of societies for you to reach.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 7:22AM
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Spoke with two local county Extn. Service Master gardners. They thought I have nemetodes & told me where to send a soil sample for analysis..The Rosarian suggested I plant the mini's I have on order in plastic pots & put them into the ground & I could get free pots from my local town landfill. Of course I will have to make up a fresh mixture of soil. I think this could be the best suggestion so far. He also invited me to the not so local Rose Society meeting this weekend where all my questions could be answered. I think I'll take him up on the offer. He also suggested where I could find Fortuniana rootstock, but they would grow larger than I wanted.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 5:46PM
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Picked up a bunch of FREE plastic pots at my local landfill. They are 5 & 10 gals. What size would be good for in the ground? They should solve the nemetode problem. It's a lot of soil to prepare. I added 4 more mini's to the 10 I have on order. One each of Kristin, Irrestible, Behold & Iced Rasberry.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 11:53AM
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diggerdave(Montana 4/5)

Can't help with advice about your area. I am enjoying reading this. Couldn't help thinking it is refreshing to see someone check local experts and be rewarded with good advice. Also... had to show the thread to Deb. She fell hard for minis and is completely addicted now. We have over 50 and she has a list of 40 she wants. She started out kinda like you have :) She laughed and said "that's the way it starts".
Irresistible is one of the best roses I have grown in 40+ years (minis 10 years). You can't really tell from those pics but it is a huge bush. Most are of the one planted in 2001. The critter got 5 feet tall and wide last year. Our season is very short in Montana. I imagine Irresistible will get much larger and get established faster in Florida. Both the ones we have got 3+ feet tall the first season. Just thought I would mention it. I didn't give our 1st Irresistible enough room here.

All the smaller white blooms in the lower right are Irresistible. You can see foliage going higher if you look close. It was taller than Double Delight behind it by the end of the season.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 1:52PM
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diggerdave: They're beautiful.I think I'm going to need a larger lot!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 5:17PM
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ken_se_fl(9 SE, Fl.)

I lived and grew roses in Winter Haven for 19 yrs. Grew a lot of mini's. All of mine were in 5 and 10 gal pots sunk in the ground. As far as soil goes, I've been using Wal Marts Expert Potting Soil. It comes in a yellow and orange bag. I've tried all kinds of soil. This is the best stuff I've found. Also when I plant I use a small hand full of Milorganite mixed in my soil.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 8:07AM
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