One thought on reducing plant size

Hello everyone,

Most native roses have a large shrub form, especially for the climbing varieties, and some of them have branches that grow outwards, requiring frequent pruning and tying to shape them, which is not suitable for modern garden planting applications.

I would like to know if there are any classic parents used in the history of rose breeding to reduce the size of shrubs. I also have an idea: to cross small shrubs with large varieties and select the F1 plant with good resistance and the smallest size for further breeding with the large variety. Continuously selecting plants with excellent quality and even smaller shrub forms. Would this be a way of improvement?

Of course, practice makes perfect, and these are just some ideas. The actual situation will always be more detailed, so I look forward to everyone’s valuable suggestions.


Using smaller desirable sized roses in crosses with your large shrubs should be a good strategy. You are right though in recognizing that it might take more than one generation.

Best wishes!

Jim Sproul

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I love that path. Jim, you’ve made great progress in that regard. I love your Pink Brickhouse. For me, years ago reaching out to Ralph Moore for mini suggestions has really helped for me. He suggested some good seed parents and I crossed them with species and large Explorer roses. Eventually roses like Petite Pink with great symmetrical and compact form came about. I love Julie Overom’s Cherry Frost. Although its not really a mini, it is relatively compact and full of flowers and symmetrical and it has a mini in its background. I suspect using minis that routinely branch and bloom after a certain number of leaves helps. Many of the Ralph Moore’s minis are close to the polyanthas and polyantha-like roses, so mounded symmetrical habits I think can come back as we continue to reshuffle the genes.

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