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My grocery store was selling some weird Valentine’s Day rose bush things. They were desperately under-watered and looked so sad, so I picked one up, hoping to save it.

But I’m not sure where to start outside of giving it some water. I’ve never cared for a rose bush at all, let alone a mini one in a pot. I’ve given it some water and put it in a sunny window. The tag gives me next to no info on care.

Do I have any chance of saving this guy? Or is it beyond saving? Once it perks up, should I put it in a larger pot?

rose bush

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This plant has presumably been "forced" probably with the intention of making it flower for Christmas or Valentine's Day, though apparently that didn't quite work out as planned!

In fact miniature roses are generally tougher plants than the larger varieties. The are quite happy with outdoor winter temperatures down to -20F (-30C). They prefer temperatures below 70F (20C) all year round, so most houses are too warm to keep them as indoor plants.

I don't think you are likely to "save" the remains of the leaves and flowers that have been damaged by lack of water. Unless the ground is frozen hard where you live, I would plant it outside in the ground right now, hopefully make it go dormant and drop all its leaves, and wait for it to regrow in spring. If the roots are not too badly damaged, it should survive.

Roses need a dormant period over winter to grow properly, which is why they don't do well in warm climates.

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  • This is super helpful, and gives me a place to start. My house hovers in the low 60s. (I rent, so outside won’t be an option.) I’ll plan on repotting it in a larger pot, and placing it next to a colder window, but I won’t hold my breath. – Gwendolyn Feb 15 at 22:48
  • Well, to go dormant it needs temperatures below 50F (10C) during the day and below freezing at night, but you don't seem to have that option. – alephzero Feb 15 at 23:03

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