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Winterizing your roses

Category: Roses | Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:49 pm

Its that time of the year. I walked outside this morning and saw my breath...where did summer go?

Well, its time to get the roses ready for winter.

To do that is simple if you live here in the South. We dont have to bury our roses to keep them safe.

All you have to do, is prune them back and mulch well.
See my pruning and transplanting blog to see how to prune them back. If you are jsut pruning, just skip the transplant part. You want all the leaves and branches gone. Any branch that are growing off a main branch (which grows off the crown). Any stems or branches that are damaged, rubbing each other or growing against another.

I have a rule of thumb when pruning for winter....I heard it somewhere...not sure where but I used it last winter and my rose looked beautiful early spring. I leave three branches coming off the crown if possible. A thick older stem, a thinner stem and a new smaller stem. If its not growing off the crown, prune it off. See pruning and transplanting blog on the measurements to prune back.

When mulching for winter, clean out the older mulch and replace it with fresh mulch. I make sure its a inch thick when they are in the ground but when its in a pot, I mulch it 2 inches thick and place the pot on a piece of heavy duty plastic and raise the edges of the plastic with large stones to keep the edges off the ground. This does two keeps a majority of the dew off the plastic so when it freezes, the frost stays away from the pot and it keeps the ground under the pot from freezing which in turns keeps the roots of the rose from getting damaged from frozen ground. My mom goes one step farther by actually placing a thick layer of mulch on top of the plastic and sets the pot on top. It works well for those who lives near water or gets alot of rain in the winter as North Florida does.

This is also the time to stop feeding your roses and to cut back on the watering.

Being here in the Deep South, we dont get many long freezes. Usually, as soon as the sun comes up, the ice melts away. So, if my rose is in the ground, I dont have to water as much in the winter. Ill water maybe once every 2 to 3 weeks, depending on the temps(the lower the temps, the longer I wait to water)...unless it rains during those weeks. Dont over water and dont drown it. Just about a inch of water will do. Now if its in a pot, I will shallow water it once a weeks. Meaning about a half a inch once a week. You dont want to water it until it comes out the bottom. Count to 5 and stop watering.

Now, if you live in the North or the "frozen" south(where you get snow or it does freeze reg), as I call it, You will have to find a site to help you prepare your roses for winter if they are in the ground. If they arent ,Just place them inside near a window to get its daily dose of sun. I know nothing about overwintering roses where it snows or freezes on a reg basis. Sorry.

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wannabe wrote on Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:29 pm:

We live in the snow frozen area. We know we have to prune them back, pack mulch or leaves around and over them and put a styroform rose cone over them. But I forget how to prune them back. Wannabe


Gardenstew wrote on Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:34 pm:

Great tutorial Denee. Would it be possible to get a photo of a pot on plastic with the raised edges? Just not 100% sure what that should look like.

Oh yeah I have added links to your pruning and transplanting blog entry into the above entry :)


pondlady wrote on Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:06 pm:

Thanks, Denee. Maybe I will dare try a real rose. I have discovered knock out roses and they seem to do just fine in the New Orleans heat no matter what. I dunno what will happen when it freezes. I have become an advocate of the plant makes it on its own or not no matter what I do or don't do.

Jan, on the road


Pinkiered wrote on Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:27 am:

Ill get a pic of it tomorrow and post it up.

Wannabe, you can check out my blog that Frank linked up in here. Theres step by step pics on pruning. Weither Im transplanting or winterizing my roses, I prune them the same way.

Pondlady, I have a knockout rose too. I dont think its possible to kill one! LOL With you living in NO I dont think the freezes last long enough to do any real damage to a rose. In north Fl, we would get freezes for just a few hours, usually just before dawn. When the sun came up, it would raise the temps. That kind of freeze if it doesnt happen every night, doesnt do a whole lot of damage if the rose is mulched thick enough.


reggaefan wrote on Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:44 pm:

Great tip Denee we have our roses sheltered on our south side and they do well here in Louisiana but good information is one thing you can never have too much of.


Pinkiered wrote on Wed Sep 27, 2006 3:44 am:

Your roses are wonderful reggae! I dont think you need help with them!

Sorry I wasnt able to get a pic today..I was so busy! Ill get it as soon as I get a second to spare.

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