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Popular Houseplant Profiles: Q - R

Rosa species and cultivars - miniature rose

Miniature rose Rosa 'Ruby Baby' at NYBG; photo by Danielle Colburn
Miniature rose 'Ruby Baby' at NYBG; photo by Danielle Colburn

Your miniature rose gift plant has been developed to bloom profusely with perfect tiny roses. These small flowers come in a myriad of colors and form on small, compact bushes with tiny leaves. Many can be grown both indoors and outdoors.

Cultural Requirements

Light:

Miniature roses prefer a bright sunny window with a minimum of four hours of direct sunlight per day.

Watering:

Continuous light watering is necessary. Do not allow the rose to dry out.

Temperature:

This plant grows best between 65º and 72º F during the day and 50º to 60º F at night.

Humidity:

A relative humidity above 50% is preferred to successfully grow miniature roses. Provide additional humidity by daily misting, standing plants on shallow trays filled with moistened pebbles and/or using a humidifier.

Feeding:

After the first season, fertilize with a granular fertilizer for roses. To apply the granular fertilizer, make pencil size holes into the pot and drop the measured amount in. Any powdered fertilizer will tend to burn the foliage and should not be used.

Transplanting:

In spring, when roots fill the pot, move into the next size container. Use a soil mix specially formulated for roses.

Maintenance:

Prune away all dead wood and weak, spindly canes. Deadhead to encourage continuous flowering.

Special Note:

If plants dry out, soak them in water for several hours to revive. Provide extra humidity to discourage spider mite attack.

Rosmarinus officinalis - rosemary

Rosmarinus officinalis; photo courtesy of Flickr cc/Antonio Castagna
Rosmarinus officinalis; photo courtesy of Flickr cc/Antonio Castagna

This beautiful herb is often trained as a small topiary tree. It has dark, green, leathery leaves that exude a spicy fragrance when crushed. Rosemary's wonderfully fragrant leaves are a culinary delight.

Cultural Requirements

Light:

Rosemary needs direct sun for at least four hours per day.

Watering:

Keep the soil slightly moist; never let the plant wilt.

Temperature:

Rosemary prefers a cool room with good air circulation. Give rosemary 50 to 65°F night and day temperatures between 65 and 70°F.

Humidity:

A relative humidity above 50% is preferred to successfully grow rosemary. Additional moisture can be provided by daily misting, setting the plant on a tray of pebbles that is kept moist and/or the use of a humidifier.

Feeding:

Fertilize twice a month with a water-soluble, 5-10-5 fertilizer during the growing season (March through September).

Transplanting:

Repot after the growing season or if leaves are yellow at the base. Move into the next larger size pot. The soil mix preferred is a lean, alkaline, potting soil. Cover the plant in its pot with a layer of builder's sand or small grade pea gravel to keep the surface dry and reflect warmth on the plant.

Propagation:

Take 3" to 4" cuttings in later summer or early fall for best success.

Maintenance:

For topiary trees and other specimens, pinch the tips regularly to promote bushiness. Rotate pot once a week to insure even growth.

Special Note:

A foliar feed of seaweed and fish emulsion will invigorate your rosemary specimen.

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