Winterizing Roses

Winter is coming to some parts of the US while some parts have already had snow. What should we do to winterize our roses?

Not all roses need serious winter rose care. Roses classified as old garden roses are extremely tolerant of cold temperatures and those who have Knockout roses and/or live in zones 5 through 11 don’t need to take any extra steps to care for these roses in winter.

You should winterize roses after the first hard frost but before that first snow. After the ground freezes put a thick layer of mulch around the base, but not up against the canes. The mulch keeps the ground temperature even and prevents the roots from heaving. Heaving happens when the ground goes through multiple freezes and thaws.

Whatever area you are in, if you live in an extremely windy area, you will have to loosely tie branches/canes together so that they do not whip around in the wind.

If your rose garden is in a climate that is colder than zone 5, gardeners will need to protect every kind and all of the roses. First you want to prevent rose canes, or branches from whipping around in the wind. To prevent this, loosely tie the canes together. Then cover the base of the plant with 12 inches of soil. Straw or leaves can be placed over the soil mound for additional insulation.

For a link with information on winterizing roses, see this.

For sketches showing how to protect roses during the winter read this.

If you live on the West Coast, read what my favorite rose breeder, Brad Jolbert, has to say about winterizing roses.


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