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How to prepare roses for winter

By: Garden Gate staff
Preparing your roses for winter is easy with these simple tips. Make sure you’re mulching the right way (and at the right time)!

Follow these simple steps to prepare your roses for winter and you’ll ensure that they’ll look their best next spring.

Winter prep for container-grown roses

  • Growing compact shrubs in containers? Sink them into the ground. Or protect pots in a spot where they’re safe from the freeze-thaw cycle, such as the garage or a shaded side of the house. (Just water them occasionally through winter.)
  • If you’re transplanting shrub roses from a container at the end of the season, do it about six weeks before you expect the first hard freeze so plants can get established.

See also How To

ht-protect-roses-winter-lead:To help grafted roses survive winter, wait until after a hard freeze, then pile leaves, mulch or soil over the crown of the plant.

Special winter treatment for grafted roses

Many roses are grafted onto cold-hardy rootstock. The graft, which often looks like a big knot, is where the two roses are joined. If the top portion dies, you’ll end up with a flower that’s different than the one you bought.

  • To protect the graft through winter, especially in zones 4 and 5, where it can be a challenge to grow roses, plant the graft 2 to 3 inches below soils level.
  • After a hard, killing frost, mound 6 to 12 in. of soil, mulch or leaves over the crown for the winter. Pull the mulch or soil back in early spring.

Shrub roses in winter

Growing shrub roses? Don't worry too much about protecting them. They’re not grafted, and most are hardy enough to survive winter without any special care.

See also Flowers & Plants

Published: Oct. 23, 2018

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