They only cost about five dollars, and we are weakened by the lack of sunshine from short winter days, so we succomb and buy one. It's cold outside, and the roses outside are sleeping, so the idea of having roses growing and blooming on the windowsill may be more than we can resist.
Here's a fact that is not so secret ... roses, even miniature roses, are meant to be outdoor plants. Trying to keep them inside as houseplants is a plan that is doomed to fail.
How can this be, you ask? These little plants are so fat and happy looking.
Here is the secret to their girth ... three little rooted cuttings are in this pot. Some vendors put four or more cuttings in their pots.
These little guys are greenhouse grown, in ideal conditions to produce concentrated growth. Multiple cuttings per pot makes a really nice looking display in the store, but it's not geared for the long-term survival of the roses themselves.
Working in a dishpan in my kitchen sink, here's what I did with my pot of miniature roses.
I tipped the plant out of the pot, and I carefully ripped the rootball apart ... mindful to keep as much root mass as possible with each plant.
I removed some of the lower-most leaves, because they're in the way for repotting and they are probably going to die off anyway now that the plant is out of the commercial greenhouse environment, and I replant each little rose in its own pot.
As when repotting any plant, use good potting soil, water thoroughly, and allow the pots to drain.
Here they are, ready to go outside to the greenhouse with the rest of my baby roses. (oops, they didn't drain enough and they're making a puddle.)
I keep them in the dishpan till I take them to the greenhouse.
If you don't have a greenhouse, you may be able to successfully keep your miniature roses alive inside until spring ... but only until the weather is warm enough so they won't freeze. Dry winter indoor air creates a perfect environment for spidermites, which can build to epidemic proportions very quickly and will can actually kill your rose. Use a humidity tray (a saucer of gravel filled with water) to help with this. It also can help to give your roses a thorough shower with your sink sprayer once a week while they are indoors.
Don't take this as any sort of advice or encouragement about how to grow roses indoors long term. The idea here is to do what we can to keep these little greenhouse-grown babies alive while they're inside being protected from the cold weather that they are unaccustomed to. By next year, these babies will be grown-up garden roses and the cold shouldn't be any big deal for them.
As an experiment, two of these roses are going to my greenhouse and one is going to stay on my west-facing kitchen windowsill. We'll follow their progress and see how well they do with these recommendations. Any survivors will be planted in the garden come springtime.