I received a miniature rose for Valentine's Day. How do I care for it?

Question: 

I received a miniature rose for Valentine's Day. How do I care for it?

Answer: 

Light Requirements

Miniature roses need direct sun.  In the home, place the miniature rose in a south or west facing window.  Rotate plants once or twice a week to promote even growth. 

Watering

Miniature roses also require a consistent moisture supply.  When the soil surface becomes dry to the touch, water the plant until water flows out the bottom of the container.  Discard the excess water.  Fertilize the miniature rose (once or twice a month) with a dilute fertilizer solution. 

Temperature

Miniature roses prefer daytime temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and a minimum nighttime temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit.  Keep the plant away from cold drafts or heat sources. 

Deadheading

To promote new growth and additional blooms, remove flowers as they fade.  Cut off the stem just above the uppermost five-leaflet leaf.  Also, remove any yellow leaves or dead growth. 

Insects and Other Pests

Finally, periodically inspect the miniature rose for pests.  Roses often have problems with spider mites when grown indoors.  Discolored leaves and fine webbing are signs that spider mites may be present.  Control spider mites by spraying plants with insecticidal soap.  Several applications may be necessary to completely control spider mites. 

Placing Outside in the Summer

In May, the miniature rose can be placed outside.  Harden or acclimate the plant to outdoor conditions by initially placing the plant in a shady location.  Then gradually expose it to longer periods of sunlight.  After the miniature rose has been acclimated outdoors for several days, place the potted plant on a sunny patio or deck.  The miniature rose can also be planted outdoors in the garden.  While miniature roses are small, they’re actually more cold hardy than hybrid tea roses.  Select a sunny site with fertile, well-drained soil. 

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