Winterizing Your Roses

In Fall on November 2, 2015 at 12:00 am | Written by admin
When you hear roses, you think of spring. The vibrant colors, the fresh and warming air, but what goes into getting your roses prepped before this point? Winterizing! If you want to get a head start into spring, these tips can help your roses flourish the way they were meant to. And of course survive the harsh winters.

Know Your Zone

Chicago winters are cold! A friendly reminder of just how cold they can be, comes from the USDA Hardiness Zone Map. Most of Illinois falls into Zone 5B. This means, most species of roses need just a little bit of work from you to get them on the right track for spring.


You can still continue to water your roses through the fall. Watering your roses before the ground freezes gives them time to absorb the water, which in return acts as an insulator. It will make them hardier against the winter elements and this gives them the best chance of surviving the season.


Rose, Winterizing Your Roses, Chicago Winters, Winterizing,You will want to stop using nitrogen fertilizers early in the fall. Nitrogen fertilizers encourage blade growth and this could cause an unexpected bloom before winter is even over. Fertilizers with phosphorus only are recommended because they promote root growth.

Pruning should be done in moderation before the first frost. Prune back the canes to about 30-36 inches. Do not do any major pruning as rose bushes tend to die from the top down. Cutting your roses too short makes them more susceptible to the damaging cold. Tie the tips of the long canes together. Doing this will reinforce the canes and will help prevent them from breaking in the wind. Don’t forget to remove any dead or diseased cane.

After your pruning, you’re going to want to remove any fallen leaves or debris from around and in the plant. Leaves and other debris, present an opportunity for disease and encourages pests to settle down, usually at the rose’s expense. Don’t forget to remove any invasive plants from the area. Before the temperatures reach below freezing, pull down the long canes of tea and climbing roses. Lay the canes flat on the ground and cover them with mulch or pine branches.

Now what to do with those low-growing roses? This is the most involved part of the process and will take a few extra things. Bringing in new soil, create a one foot high, one foot thick mound around the rose bush. Create a chicken wire or mesh wire barrier around the plant. Make sure there is a foot of clearance around the rose bush. Now you’re going to fill the cylinder you just created with chopped leaves, dry wood chips, pine needles or compost. Now, we have the most sensitive and non-hardy roses. This is where the you will have to use the Minnesota Tip method.

Until Spring

Winterizing your roses, Rosebush, Roses, Chicago WeatherWinterizing becomes easier as you become familiar with it. Knowing what type of roses you have, will also determine what has to go into winterizing them. As the winter continues, you’ll want to check your roses to make sure everything is where it’s supposed to be. If starting a garden of your own is on your mind, contact the experts at Green T Landscaping. Comment »
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