GardenZeus Recommendations for Miniature Rose Varieties in California Zone 12

GardenZeus Recommendations for Miniature Rose Varieties in California Zone 12

Miniatures and minifloras are ideal for containers and many are suitable as accent plants in landscapes. The delicate-but-formal, hybrid-tea-like flower form of many miniature roses makes for lovely floral arrangements.

Most miniature-rose plants grow no larger than 2 feet in height, but keep in mind that the “miniature” designation for roses refers to the size of the flower, typically not more than 2 inches across, and not necessarily the size of the plant. Miniature varieties that grow to more than 2 feet in height are noted below.

Miniflora roses tend to be larger than miniatures in both flower and plant size, but most are smaller than floribundas, grandifloras, and hybrid-teas. At the opposite end of the spectrum from minifloras are  micro-miniature roses with blooms of 1/4-to-1-inch across on plants up to one foot in height. Micro-miniature roses generally perform best in a greenhouse rather than a garden.

Many of the inexpensive miniature roses sold as cut flowers or bouquets are varieties of Kordana® roses, which have been bred to grow and flower rapidly, to withstand shipping, and to tolerate indoor growing conditions for the florist market. They typically become diseased and may struggle to survive outside of ideal greenhouse conditions. They are generally not fragrant and typically require chemical treatment to manage disease. GardenZeus does not recommend Kordana® roses for home gardeners.

Miniature and miniflora roses are repeat bloomers, and are easy to maintain. GardenZeus recommends pruning dead canes throughout the year and regularly deadheading blossoms to maximize blooming. Miniatures and minifloras should be pruned for shape and cut back to the desired height and width in winter. Varieties with significant fragrance are noted below.



  • Cinderella: An offspring of Cécile Brunner that produces tiny white/light pink flowers. May bloom almost year-round in your zone.
  • Gourmet Popcorn: White flowers with yellow centers. As the name suggests, flowers may give the impression of buttered popcorn. Blooms in clusters.
  • Irresistible: White blooms with pink centers. Many consider this to be one of the best miniatures. With appropriate pruning makes a spectacular potted miniature-tree rose. To 3 feet.



  • Cal Poly™: Bright yellow flowers look like water lilies. Tolerates heat.
  • My Sunshine: Single-pedaled yellow flowers bloom in flushes throughout the growing season.
  • Sequoia Gold™: Mid-yellow-to-gold, loose-pedaled flowers. Very fragrant.



  • Hot Tamale: Blended flowers vary in proportions of bright yellow, reddish-orange, and pink, depending on the weather. Buds have a hybrid-tea-like form; flowers become less formal after opening.
  • Holy Toledo: Double, orange-apricot, hybrid-tea-like buds and flowers.
  • Gizmo™: Single, orange-pedaled blossoms with small white centers. Blooms well in summer heat in your zone.
  • Bambino™: Tiny, vivid orange blossoms on a 12-inch, micro-mini plant.



  • Apricot Twist™: Delicate, fully double blooms of pale apricot fade to softer apricot to cream at the edges. Fragrant.
  • Peach Delight™: Miniflora hybrid. Small, soft-apricot buds open with slightly darker inner petals. To 26 inches tall and 40 inches wide.



  • Glowing Amber™: Orange/red petals with yellow reverse. Tolerates heat. To 3 feet.
  • Ralph Moore™: Named after the father of miniature roses. True-red pointed buds open to double fragrant flowers. Blooms in large clusters.
  • Starina®: Coral-red, classic hybrid-tea form on an upright, compact plant. To 18 inches.
  • Black Jade™: Dark-red flowers in formal hybrid-tea form. Prefers part-shade in your zone.



  • Crazy Dottie: Fun, bright-pink, single blossoms with yellow centers. To 3 feet by 3 feet.
  • Daddy’s Little Girl: Rich rose-pink with a lighter reverse on double flowers. Blooms in clusters.



  • Baby Grand: Delicate, medium-pink, old-rose flowers in small clusters. Blooms in flushes over a long growing season.
  • Judy Fischer: Small, double, high-centered, dark-pink flowers. Heat-tolerant.



  • Joy: White with pink edges. Produces small clusters of exhibition-quality blooms.
  • Sweet Fairy: A strongly and sweetly perfumed lilac-pink micro-mini rose.  Open pointed petals produce magical flower form on a low growing 8-inch plant. Perfect for fairy gardens.
  • Nozomi: This mini-climber produces canes up to 5 feet long. It can be trained to a trellis or pruned into tree form with weeping branches. Single, pink, mildly fragrant flowers are borne in abundant clusters over a long growing season.



  • Herbie: Mauve-to-lavender, hybrid-tea-shaped blooms. Great for cut flowers.
  • Diamond Eyes: Dark-purple flowers with white centers bloom in clusters. Clove-spice fragrance. Bloom color may be lighter at hotter temperatures.
  • Lavender Crystal: Light-lavender/mauve, ruffled double blooms. Spicy fragrance.
  • Lavender Jewel: Medium-pink-to-lavender full blooms. Prolific and continual flowering. A favorite of many miniature-rose lovers.



  • Green Ice: Tiny pastel-pink buds open white and morph to light green flowers. Unique and conversation-worthy for its color. Slightly fragrant.

Try a combo of these mini roses for a coffee color theme:

  • Cinnamon Girl™: Hybrid-tea-like flowers in cinnamon brown/orange with off-white reverse.
  • Café Olé: Unique brownish-beige shading reminiscent of café au lait.
  • Coffee Bean™: Smoky-chocolate-orange flowers with rust reverse. Blooms in flushes over a long growing season.



  • Tiddly Winks™: Bright-orange, pink, and yellow bicolor that blooms continuously.
  • Bees Knees™: Yellow-pink blend fades to red-pink. Excellent for cut flowers. A single plant may produce dozens of blooms at one time. Mildly fragrant.
  • Rainbow’s End™: Reliable bloomer. Flowers open deep yellow, become tinged with red when grown in full sun, and fade toward pink with age. Plants produce flower displays in various color stages all at the same time. Rainbow’s End is also available as a climbing miniature that reaches 10 to 12 feet.
  • Magic Carousel: White, 1.5-inch flowers with an outer blush of rose-to-red at petal edges. Blooms continuously.
  • Minnie Pearl™: A popular salmon/pink bicolor blend. Mildly fragrant.



  • Tattooed Daughter: A 2013 introduction that produces unusual light-orange-to-coral blooms with darker orange-red stripes.
  • Stars ‘n’ Stripes: Lovely, double blooms in bright, striped red and white. Released for America’s bicentennial in 1976. Sweetly fragrant.
  • Strawberry Swirl®: Fully double blooms of light-cream striped with red. Recommended for containers or as a groundcover.



By continuing, you are agreeing to the GardenZeus Affiliate Policy, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.