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Welcome to the March 2002 edition of my web site! The roses I write about are the Old Garden Roses and select shrub and miniature roses of the 20th century. For tips on rose culture, pruning, propagation and history, see "Other resources on this site". To return to this page, click on the "thorn icon" in the margin at left. Articles from the previous months are archived and can be viewed by clicking on the listings in the left margin. Oh, and please don't write to me for a catalog or pricelist.....this is an information site only.....not a commercial nursery. If you wish to buy roses, see my sponsor, The Uncommon Rose. Thanks!

Miniature Roses In Hanging Baskets
By Ralph Moore
(This article dates to about 1975, so keep in mind that some of the information is not current)

Sweet ChariotFor many years, we here at Sequoia Nursery (Moore Miniature Roses) have endeavored to grow the finest miniature rose plants possible, which we ship to customers throughout the United States and Canada. At the heart of it has been our breeding program. This is where we dream dreams and see visions of things to come. Our program has been one of the most varied and open projects in the history of rose breeding.

I came on the scene when opportunities were wide open. The plant patent act had only recently become a reality which, in turn, encouraged the breeder or discoverer of new horticultural varieties to step up research and development with reasonable assurances that financial reward for his endeavors would be possible.

Many gardeners, farmers and ordinary citizens alike have no idea as to the cost of producing a new plant variety. Usually, much thought, effort, time and money are invested. It is true that some new varieties may be discovered which "just happen." This may be a chance seedling or a sport which an alert nurseryman, orchardist or gardener happens to spot. But, such a variety still has to be tested, the best method of propagation determined, and it must be produced and marketed in order to be a successful variety.

All this takes time and money. Then, there is the simple procedure of crossing variety A with variety B and from the resulting seedlings selecting out variety C. Many fruit, shrub and rose varieties have come from such crosses.

Hanging Basket of Miniature RosesHowever, most varieties of merit, which represent really significant steps forward, came about as the result of much effort directed, generally, over a long period of time, toward certain pre- determined goals. The goal may be increased vigor, disease resistance, more dependable flowering and/or fruiting, greater market appeal, and keeping quality, etc. Often, several goals in combination may be worked for simultaneously. Seed breeding objectives require substantial effort and drive over years of time and may involve hundreds, and even thousands, of crosses. The seedlings must be grown and observed. Selection and discarding from the many hundreds of thousands of seedlings must take place and, finally, a variety (or varieties) approximating the earlier goal becomes a reality.

Thus we have worked for years to develop the many different varieties of miniature and moss rose hybrids which have evolved from the rose breeding work I have done or directed for the past 35 years. Miniatures have ceased to be a novelty or curiosity and now have become an important part of rose shows throughout the country as well as familiar garden subjects.

Miniature roses now come in many forms and colors. Through the years, several fine yellows have been produced, the latest being Golden Angel. Among the rainbow of colors now available on the market are White Angel, White Madonna, Mary Marshall (orange blend), Magic Carrousel (white edged red). Over the Rainbow (bi-color). Lavender Lace, Orange Fire (orange-coral). My Valentine (deep red). Green Ice and Green Diamond (soft green), and many more.

The newest development has been some varieties especially suited to growing in hanging baskets. While nearly any variety may be grown in pots or in hanging containers, some of the newer introductions have a more prostrate or hanging habit.

Green IcePots, or other suspended containers, planted to such varieties can add a new dimension to any garden. Roses tend to flower over a long season, usually spring to frost, and can be grown in exposures suitable for petunias. These roses are perennial and will live in a container for many years and may be trimmed to the owner's desired size and shape.

Hanging basket miniature roses can be suspended from overhead or from brackets attached to a wall, fence or post. This type miniature rose can be included in gardens too small for other roses, or they can be grown in gardening areas where space is limited or otherwise not available.

Growing miniature roses in hanging baskets is simple as ABC.

A—Always grow roses in sufficient light to promote healthy growth and bloom, usually in filtered or full sun for 4-6 hours (or more) each day.
B—Be sure to water and fertilize regularly as needed. Never allow soil to become dry. A slow release fertilizer is excellent.
C—Container must be large enough to hold sufficient soil or other suitable growing medium. Each pot or basket should hold a gallon or more. Redwood tubs suspended with wires or chains are excellent.

Some suggested varieties suitable for growing in hanging containers include:
Green Ice (white to soft green — best color in part shade).
Red Germain (a strong plant with lots of medium red flowers).
Happy Time (red and yellow bi-colored flowers).
Gidget (a bright new red-to-coral pink with glossy foliage).
Coral Treasure (peachy coral flowers on a vigorous plant).
Sugar Elf (pink and gold buds and flowers on healthy plant, one of tha best).

Little White LiesSeveral others have been grown with pleasing results and newer varieties are in the development stage. These will be available in the future.

Editor's Note: Needless to say, there have been over 25 years of further improvements in Miniature roses, and some of the finest Miniatures suitable for hanging baskets have been developed since the time of this article. Surely 'Sweet Chariot' is now regarded as the most spectacular and useful of all the hanging Miniature roses, and the ever popular 'Green Ice' (A recent Miniature Roses Hall of Fame inductee) is still regarded as one of the best. In recent years, Sean McCann has introduced a couple of these hanging basket types, including his single white 'Little White Lies'.


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