Winterizing Roses

As we prepare for our first frost of the season soon, we want to highlight the best way to winterize your Roses.

All Rose Varieties

  • You probably wouldn’t think it, but winterizing roses actually starts in summer. We recommend making early August the last time you fertilize your Roses and also when you stop deadheading the spent blooms. This gives the Rose bush a little heads up that it’s time to slow down production over the coming weeks.
  • Once most leaves have fallen, clean up all fallen bloom and leaf debris from under the roses. Debris left throughout the winter can be a nice little habitat for pest and diseases!
  • Water lightly if no rain for more than a couple of weeks (preferably on warmer days) A moisture meter is a great tool to save your fingers from getting cold and wet!
  • Remove soil coverings and any other protective coverings in early Spring when the buds begin to form

Traditional Floribunda/Hybrid Tea Roses

  • Avoid pruning unless you feel that your Rose is tall enough to risk snow or wind breaking the stems. If you do need to prune back 1/3 of the plant, do it after the first freeze to make sure the Rose is dormant.
  • Cover the crown of the plant with around 6″ of loose topsoil or mulch
  • Mound straw over the remaining plant, use a wire gage around the rose filled with straw, or use a specific breathable winter protective covering

Knockout, Drift, and other landscape shrub type Roses 

  • Due to their hardiness – landscape shrub Roses like Knockouts can be pruned back about 1/3 of the way down around Thanksgiving but do not require any special covering for winter

Climbing Roses

  • Avoid pruning
  • Cover the base with about 6″ of loose topsoil or mulch
  • If possible, tie the canes into a bundle and cover with burlap or lay on the ground and cover with a lightweight mulch

If you have Roses growing in containers, you can bring them into a garage for protection – just don’t’ forget to water on occasion so the roots do not dry out.

Other Roses questions? Just contact us!

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