Roses are one of those plants that will benefit from a little TLC in preparation for winter. Often rose bushes are one of our favorite plants that may have been chosen for a specific reason and so it would be a pity to risk damage for lack of some simple care. I found this article by Shannon McKee over on Dave’s Garden website which tells you what you need to do.

Do you just leave your rose bushes to fend for themselves during the winter months?
Winter time is quickly approaching, and your rose bushes are getting ready to hibernate for the long, cold winter ahead. Harsh winters can be dangerous for a rose bush that’s not prepared properly. Don’t be that person that just crosses your fingers that your rose bush will come back next year. Do what is necessary now to give your roses their best chance at thriving through the winter to bloom again when the weather turns warm.


If you’re like most gardeners, you love deadheading. You know that every dead blossom you take off of your plants will help coax more blooms, and it can be a rather addicting thing to do. Deadheading your roses during the summer is a great way to care for your bush, but you should put the brakes on deadheading at the end of August. Continuing to deadhead after this period only encourages your plant to continue producing, and your rose bush won’t start to produce hips, also known as seed pods, if you continue to deadhead. The development of hips means that your bush knows that a period of dormancy will be coming.


Your roses will just keep growing as the cold weather approaches if you continue to feed them. This can be dangerous as the rose bush will continue growing, and if a hard freeze arrives while it’s growing, there’s a good chance that it will kill your bush altogether. Your winter protection starts with stopping granular fertilizers after the middle of August. You may want to add some foliar fertilizer at the end of August depending on how your roses look, but this is the latest you should do any fertilizing. Your roses do not need a late season deep feeding to get through the winter.


You should also look to stop pruning your roses at the end of August. Pruning can encourage your rose bush to start producing new growth that will be tender and young. This new growth foliage won?t stand a chance against the coming winter weather, so it’s best to wait before doing any pruning at this time.

See more at Dave’s Garden