Guide to Rose Bush Winter Care

Your rose bushes have bloomed like champs all season long. But now that there are fewer pages on the calendar, you're wondering how best to protect your plants from old man winter.

If you live in zones 6 or colder, winterizing rose bushes should be a priority. Hybrid tea roses are at greatest risk, while shrub roses are hardier and don't need much attention. If you live in zones 7 or 8, your roses will still be exposed to a hard freeze or two, but don't need as much protection as their northern cousins. If you live below zone 8, you biggest winter worry will be the fungal diseases that sneak in with the cool, damp weather.

Begin Early
Stop feeding your rose bushes about six weeks before the first hard frost. The lack of fertilizer will hinder the growth of tender new shoots that won't stand up to winter chill.

When It Gets Cold
After the first hard frost, water your rose bushes deeply. Once the ground begins to freeze you won't have any more watering opportunities until next year.

Around the time of the second hard freeze, apply 6 to 12 inches of compost mulch around each of your rose bushes. This will protect the roots and graft union from freezing temperatures.

Climbing roses should have their canes bundled together and placed on the ground. Cover the bundled canes with a layer of protective mulch. Leaving climbers uncovered will expose them to harsh winter winds that will burn or dehydrate them.

Rose bushes grown in zones 7 and 8 will benefit from mulching, but not as heavily as roses farther north. A three or four inch layer of leaves or shredded bark mulch will give plenty of protection from cold snaps.

When It Starts To Warm Up
Be sure to remove the mulch in the spring. For convenience, remove mulch at about the same time you prune your rose bushes.

Related Life123 Articles

Thorns aside, the tempermental nature of roses can make them a challenge for the garden. Follow these tips to bring beautiful blooms to rose bushes and plants.

When it comes to pruning rose bushes, think holidays. In warmer climates, rose bushes can be pruned any time after Thanksgiving. In colder climates, wait until after Valentine's Day to prune your rose bushes.

Frequently Asked Questions on Ask.com
More Related Life123 Articles

If you're selecting rose bushes, it's easy to become overwhelmed with the many types and varieties available. Simplify your selection deciding the function rose bushes will play in your landscape. 

When it comes to pruning a Peace Rose bush, you've got a choice: excessive pruning for a few showpiece flowers or gentle pruning for a thick landscape plant.

© 2014 Life123, Inc. All rights reserved. An IAC Company