6 Steps for How to Take Care of Roses in Winter

how to take care of roses in winterIt's Mid-March and still cold as all get out. Though the spring weather is just around the corner, it's still too cold to get much done in the gardening department, aside from for some indoor seedlings and planning. Flowering shrubs are beginning to shake off the cold, but in a way that still means some care needs to be shown to them. Today we're going to talk about how to take care of roses in winter.

One important thing about coming out of the winter season is to not jump the gun so quickly. There's plenty of time for pruning and fertilizing once the ice recedes, so the focus now should remain on winter and cold weather care. 

6 Steps for How to Take Care of Roses in Winter

how to take care of roses in winter
Step 1- Stop feeding. You should stop feeding roses about six weeks prior to the last predicted frost date in your growing zone. Fertilizer makes the bush put in new growth and that's not desirable during winter months. New growth is fragile and the first to be hit with negative results such as scarring and burning.

Step 2- Prune the bush. Winter brings some harsh winds and heavy snows that can break canes or uproot roses. Protect your rose bushes by pruning the long canes by 1/3 for climbing rose varieties and prune shrub roses back by 1/2.

Step 3- Clean up. Clean up the ground under the rose bush before snowfall. Use a rake and remove all old mulch and leaves that could provide material for pests and disease to overwinter in.

Step 4- Mulch. Apply a fresh layer of mulch around the base of the rose bush, heaping it up around the bottom of the main stem. This will help protect any shallow roots the bush might have and also help prevent the winter winds from uprooting the bush.

how to take care of roses in winterStep 5- Let hips grow. Rose bushes form 'hips' after they are finished blooming for the season. These hips look like small, round red balls and are rich in vitamin C. The rose hips signal the bush is about to go into dormancy, plus they provide winter color for the garden. The rose hips also provide birds with food during the cold winter months. Some people harvest rose hips to make a tea that is rich in vitamin C. 

Step 6- Apply dormant spray.  After temperatures fall below freezing for a week, it is time to apply dormant spray. Saturate the entire rose bush and all the ground under and immediately around the rose bush. This will kill any disease that might be on the bush or on the ground so that the roses will start off in the spring disease-free.

How to Take Care of Roses in Winter

how to take care of roses in winter
The process of knowing how to take care of roses in winter isn't too difficult, and only requires a little effort on your part to pay attention to frost dates and preparation requirements. With some tender care, your rose bushes will survive the winter quite well, and be ready to provide color and elegance in the coming spring.

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