8 Simple “Do Now” Steps to Get Your Roses Ready for Winter



There are a few simple things that you should be doing for your roses right now to help get them ready for their winter dormancy.

1. Stop deadheading

Deadheading encourages new growth and blooms and right now, we want our roses to harden off any new growth in preparation for winter. Allow rosehips to develop – they will provide some seasonal interest.

2. Prune off failed buds

Damaged buds can harbor fungus.

3. Stop fertilizing

You want your roses to slow down so don’t encourage new growth by fertilizing.

4. Trim dead wood

Trim dead wood only and wait until after a few hard frosts to trim crossed or thin canes.

5. Water

We have had a very dry summer and your roses need to be as healthy as possible before winter. Stressed roses will not build up enough stored starch to live on over the winter.

6. Rake and remove all leaves at the base of the plant

Do not compost these leaves! Many fungal diseases that afflict roses can overwinter on this leaf debris.

7. Mulch

Make sure you have a thick layer of mulch to insulate the root zone from the cold. Consider mulching with straw all around the branches. 

8. Wind Protection

In high wind exposure areas, consider constructing a burlap curtain or tent around but not touching the plant. 

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