Caring for Potted Rose Plants

To thrive, potted roses should be grown outdoors.

To thrive, potted roses should be grown outdoors.

Whether you received a potted rose plant as a gift or are purchasing one as a gift for yourself, you’ll be glad to know that these little beauties are easy to care for. Mini roses look like smaller versions of hybrid tea roses, but they have fewer requirements. Best of all, your choice of colors is vast: orange, yellow, pink, white and, of course, red. These potted rose plants typically grow from 20 to 36 inches in height and should be grown outdoors.

Light and Temperature

Most potted rose plants need at least six hours of full sun. Morning sun is preferable, and the more sun you give the rose, the healthier and hardier it is. Miniature roses are quite hardy and, in regions with mild winters, they can be left unprotected all year. In colder regions, prepare the rose for winter by removing all the foliage after the first killing frost. Pile 8 to 10 inches of soil around the potted rose plant, and cover the soil mounds with mulch or leaves. Protect the rose from extreme heat in the summer by keeping the soil well watered.

Water and Fertilizer

Miniature roses have very fine roots that require moisture at all times. Since potted plants tend to dry out quicker than those grown in the garden, you may need to water the rose daily. Feel the top of the soil with your fingers. If it’s dry, water the rose. Use a fertilizer labeled for roses, but dilute it to half the strength listed on the label. Fertilize the potted rose plant once a month from spring through the end of summer. Always apply fertilizer to moist soil.


Deadhead the potted rose plant frequently throughout the flowering season. Use sharp snips to cut stems back to their points of origin. Prune the rose in early spring by cutting out dead wood, back to a main stem. Cut all new growth back to one-third its length. Finally, stand back and look at the rose to determine if it requires shaping. Use snips to cut wayward branches that aren’t in keeping with the shape you desire.


Potted rose plants are susceptible to the same pests as their larger cousins. Aphids can be blasted from the plant with water from the hose. Discourage spider mites from taking up residence by using the hose to give the potted rose a monthly shower. If the rose does experience a mite infestation, control it with a miticide or an insecticidal soap spray, used at the rate listed on the package.

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