KUSA - A bouquet of Valentine's Day roses might last two weeks at best, but a living miniature rose bush could last a lifetime.

Miniature roses make charming gifts.

Perfect tiny replicas of standard-size roses, the miniatures bloom in a wide variety of colors.

They are sold by the millions this time of year. Several cuttings are grown in one pot for a bushy effect but they have not yet attained their full stature. Eventually most grow about two feet tall. Miniature roses bloom profusely and are much more hardy than hybrid tea roses. They make excellent garden plants.

The trick, if you receive one for Valentine's Day, is to keep it alive until you can plant it outside in May. Roses don't make good houseplants. They will stop blooming and shed leaves. Avoid killing yours by putting it in the sunniest window you have. Do not let it dry out. If it's difficult to keep it watered in its small pot, bump it up to a bigger pot. Group the rose with other plants to create a more humid zone.

Your rose doesn't have to look great as long as it makes it until May. Plant it outside in a sunny spot, keeping in mind it will get about two feet tall eventually. A miniature rose may also be grown successfully in patio pots. Feed it with rose food as you would any other rose, but just not as much. Keep it deadheaded and it will bloom well all summer. Cover the stems with potting soil in fall to protect them from winter cold and remove the soil in late March, cutting back dead branches as necessary.
With just a bit of care, your miniature rose may live for decades.

(© 2016 KUSA)