By Suzanne Horn, Master Rosarian

Marriotta (MACcricke) is probably the most popular of all the decorative miniature roses on the market. Marriotta comes to us from legendary rose hybridizer, Sam McGreedy, who introduced it in New Zealand in 1989. A cross of Seaspray x Little Artist, Marriota is a true miniature rose in bloom size, foliage and growth habit. It has been the observation of many rose lovers that every once in a while a hybridizer brings out a new and wonderful rose which seems to go largely unnoticed in commerce. At a time when many rose hybridizers were working to create the perfect hybrid tea shaped rose, Sam McGredy was following his own imagination and creating roses that were unique to the marketplace. Marriotta is a good example of such a rose 

Allow me to share with you what I believe makes Marriotta such an outstanding miniature rose. To begin with, it flowers prolifically all season long, always providing a bright splash of color in the garden. As a matter of fact, except for directly after pruning, Marriotta never seems to be out of bloom. You couldn't ask for a better-behaved rose. The rosebush is short and rounded in stature, with a bushy growth habit, reaching a height of about twelve to eighteen inches. Its form is attractive and graceful, and it is very vigorous, making abundantly beautiful sprays of extremely long-lasting blooms. It can also be disbudded to achieve one bloom per stem, should that be your preference. 

Most pink roses with colored edging (known as "picotee") are white with pink edging. However, in the case of Marriotta, the rich, deep pink flowers are edged with soft pink, as if they were only barely outlined. This rose averages 20 eye-catching petals per bloom, and the roses have just a hint of fragrance. In addition, the foliage on Marriotta  rose bush is perfectly complementary to the blooms, being petite, medium green, and semi-glossy. 

Another outstanding plus for the Marriotta miniature rose is that it is exceptionally disease resistant. I've never seen a speck of powdery mildew on it, nor for that matter any other disease. It also appears to be extremely resistant to insects and spider mites. While all else around it is coming down with the plague, Marriotta stays clean, healthy and beautiful in the midst of it all. I suppose that Marriotta is about as ideal as miniature roses get. 

Marriotta is not only a perfectly lovely spot of color in the garden; it has also become a favorite of rose show exhibitors, in spite of the fact that it does not have the much sought-after hybrid tea form. Rose exhibitors have found that Marriotta works well in a wide variety of exhibition classes such as decorative miniature bloom, miniature spray, three miniature sprays, miniature English box or miniature rose in a bowl. I've even seen it win miniature open bloom, thanks to the unlimited imagination of rose exhibitor extraordinaire, Peter Alonso. 

The only downside for this rose is in the area of availability. Although it Marriotta is a very popular and sought-after miniature, it is not widely available commercially. However, it may be obtained by mail order from various sources on the Internet

In summation, I have known very few roses that are as easy to grow or as rewarding as Marriotta. It is worth the extra effort to find it, and I encourage mini rose lovers everywhere to give it a try. 

© Copyright Suzanne Horn. All rights reserved.  

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Updated January 9, 2016