I have two mini rose bushes in containers that I did not bring in for the winter. Both plants have very little green growth. I would like to try and bring them back to life. Do I prune all the brown branches, which will leave not much more than the root ball?
Mini Rose Bush
The good thing about miniature rosebushes is that they are what is known as Own Root roses. Thus whatever comes up from the root system will be the same rosebush. So, yes, your will want to prune back all the brown canes. To help them get to growing here is a special mix you can give them: In a two gallon watering can, add two tablespoons of Epsom Salts, a tablespoon of a product called Super Thrive (available at Wal-Mart and most garden centers, Home Depot, etc.) and root stimulator added at the rate on the label for two gallons of water. Stir the water around a bit with a stick. Then water each of the rosebushes well with that mix after having pruned them back. You probably won't use the total 2 gallons of water though as we do not want them soppy wet! The rest can be used to water other plants outside. Give them the same mix the next time they need watering. Those two applications should get them going.
Here are a couple links to articles that you may find interesting as well:
Stan The Roseman
Gardening Know How