Miniature roses were at the height of their popularity in '70s and the 80s.

by John Bagnasco

Ralph Moore from Visalia, CA began an intense breeding program and in the early 1950s registered his first miniature, ‘Centennial Miss.’ Moore developed some of the most remarkable rose hybrids of his time. He introduced miniatures with stripes in red, white, yellow, pink, and orange combinations. And his ‘Green Ice’ and ‘Green Diamond’ were the first green roses in the miniature line. Appropriately, history now recognizes him as the “father of the miniature rose.”

Mr. Moore was over 100 years-old when he closed his nursery in 2008 at the peak of the Great Recession. Rose growers in general were hit hard by the downturn, but miniature rose growers were affected the most. Companies that were reliable resources could no longer be found: Nor’East Miniatures, Pixie Treasures, Justice Miniatures, Tiny Petals, Miniature Plant Kingdom, Bridges Roses and Mr. Moore’s, Sequoia Nursery all disappeared.

Since these companies were also the creators of many varieties, breeding work on miniature plants for homeowners also comparatively ceased as hybridizing became profitable only for florist distribution to large chain stores. With a lack of growers to sell their varieties, the incentive to create new plants was stifled. Online searches for named varieties can still be successful, but miniature rose specialists with large selections are virtually non-existent.

K&M Nursery in Mississippi is one grower who is attempting to bring back the supply of miniature roses. Owner Jim Mills is currently the world’s only supplier of the utterly amazing collection of Dave Bang Roses. You can click on the links to see what is available.

Why Grow Miniature Roses?