Winterizing Double Knockout Roses

by Sue

QUESTION: I live in Eastern PA. I believe by your question & answer page, I should winterize the knockout roses around the week of Thanksgiving. What do I do to winterize? This is the first year I had double knock out roses. They are beautiful and I'd really like to make sure they come up again next year. Thanks, Sue
ANSWER: Hello Sue,
Most knockout shrub roses will tolerate moderately cold winters.
But when your avarage temperatures drop below 15 degrees Fahrenheit regulary, it's best to start winterizing your roses.
Then put a protective mulch, or covering in place. Be sure to bury or cover the bud union.
Apply a dormant Oil Spray , that will smother and kill any over-wintering eggs or fungal spores.
Since you tend to get rather severe winters in Pennsylvania, you should mound the mulch at least a foot thick.
There are also burlap coverings that you can cover the entire shrub in.
I also like protective plastic or styrofoam caps that you can set over a rose and then stuff it with organic matter such as dry leaves, but it can get tricky to get enough under the covers.
Do NOT prune the roses for winter. This will encourage new tender growth that will suffer from winter kill.
Be sure to click on the link to my page about winterizing roses.
Warmest Regards,

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