Getting Roses Ready for Winter
Winter is a time of dormancy for most plants but while they may have their own mechanisms of protection against cold some plants require winterizing before they can comfortably fall asleep until spring warmth. Since fall weather can be volatile it’s best to winterize your roses by mid-fall to prevent any sudden frost damage.
There are a few ways to winterize roses depending on their variety, the temperatures, and the type of protection they might need.
If your winters don’t get very cold (temperatures plummet into single digits) or they are wet and rainy you probably don’t to winterize your roses at all as you want them to get used to colder temps and keep water from accumulating and casuing disease in wet climates. Wild and extra hardy roses too don’t need winterizing.
Before you get to insulating and setting up winterization structures, you want to make sure that your plants are healthy and clean them and the area around from fallen leaves, debris, and dead parts of the plant.
The next step would be pruning. Prune the canes up to three feet and tie them together to prevent them from breaking in the wind.
To make sure your plants are warm and safe, you can hill your roses with additional soil (no digging around the plants’ roots) or cover the roots up with mulch to insulate in a lesser degree.
Tender roses might need winterizing structures that will keep them warm and cozy. The great thing about sturdy DIY or store-bought structures is that you can reuse these each year as opposed to the styrofoam cones that easily break or wind blown.
You can also use a ‘Minnesota Tip’ method of winterization if you’re growing tender roses in extremely cold environments. You’ll need to prune them and remove any leaves coating your remaining canes with oil spray to prevent soil-borne diseases because you will be burrying them in a nearby hand-dug trench.