Winter Rose Care

How To Give Roses Winter Protection
Winterizing Roses

Winter rose care protection is important in a region of cold winter temperatures. This page will show you how to winterize roses and also give you rose winter care tips while rose gardening in winter.

I recommend that you deep water your roses several times before frost comes. This will hydrate your roses so the canes don't dry out during winter.

I recommend that you let the rose plant "harden off" and become accustomed to cold weather by exposing the plant to a week or two of below freezing temperatures.

You want to be sure the rose bush is dormant before winterizing it.

Before covering your roses with burlap or fleece, remove all leaves and debrise around the rose that could harbor disease and pests that could over-winter, ready to do damage to your roses next season.

Then, put a protective mulch around the base of the rose bush, about a foot high, and use a winter rose covering over the rose, tying it in place.

If it's a grafted rose plant, you must bury the graft, bud union, with mulch.

I also recommend spraying the rose canes with a Dormant Oil Spray

This will kill off any eggs from rose pests and prevent fungus spores (black spot etc) form overwintering and start attacking your new growth next spring.

To make sure you roses survives the winter you have to make it go dormant.

This means no feeding after the first week of August, and do not remove any blooms, let the rose flowers go to rose hips.

Preparing Rose for Winter

Many roses, except hybrid tea roses (we'll get to them later), will tolerate moderately cold winters.

But when the average wintertime temperatures regularly drop below 15 degrees Fahrenheit for example, you'll need to give your rose plant extra protection.

Mounding Roses For Winter

Where winters are fridgid, you should mound soil, compost or mulch over the bases of your rose bushes, about a foot high, to protect the crowns (bud unions).

Do not use the soil around the plant for this, or you will expose the vulnerable roots to the cold.

I recommend using bagged mulch from the garden center.

Winter Rose Care Covers

In severe winter climates, you can protect your rose by wrapping it with winter fleece coverings, or with several layers of burlap.

Stuffing the inside with straw or dried leaves is a good idea.

Protecting Canes

You can buy a protective styrofoam cap and set it over the rose. Ideally, it should be stuffed with organic matter also.

Wintering Hybrid Tea Roses

This page shows you how to winterize hybrid tea roses. They are very cold tender and will suffer from winter kill if you don't protect them properly.

Click on the headline link for that information.

Winterizing Climbing Tea Roses

If at all possible, try wrapping the canes on their support. Or untie them, and lay the stems on the ground and cover the root area with mulch, 1 foot high.

Cover the canes with straw and a protective fleece covering that you should hold down with bricks so the wind won't take it away.

Winter Rose Care For Tree Roses

For potted tree roses, you should wrap the plant, pot and all, in insulating material and move it to a cool garage or basement. Place it off the ground.

If they are growing in the ground, dig them up and place them in a container, wrap them also, and store them in a cool, non-freezing place so they remain dormant.

Winter Rose Care For Potted Roses

If you live in a cold winter climate and have potted roses outside on a patio or balcony, you must move the potted roses to an inside unheated place such as a cool basement or garage.

Do not move it inside your house or apartment that is heated.

You should deep water the rose real well so it's well hydrated. This will help the canes from drying out during the winter.

Before moving it inside, help your potted rose go dormant by letting it harden off by exposing it to a some frost nights.

Also stop feeding the roses by mid-August or earlier, and do not remove any dead flowers. Let them go to hips. This will help the rose go dormant.

After the rose is dormant, wrap it in burlap, pot and all, and bring it inside to the unheated place.

It's a good idea to keep it off the cold cement floor by placing it on some pieces of lumber.


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