Winterizing Rosebush

Asked October 1, 2017, 6:29 PM EDT

Hello, we have a climbing rosebush 15+ ft tall, we have trimmed it numerous times in the 2 yrs we have been here. What is the proper way to winterize it?

Marion County Oregon roses horticulture

3 Responses

Hello, thanks for sending your questions to us.

Here are suggestions, read the full artice here: rose culture

WINTER CARE  Rake off and destroy all fallen leaves to prevent overwintering of diseases and insects.  Mound 8-10 inches of soil around bush for winter protection. Bring this soil from another area far enough from roses so their feeder roots are not disturbed.  While roses grown on their own roots do not have a graft that needs the heavy mulching for protection from harsh winters as do other types of roses, some mulching can beneficial.  If you strip the foliage, be careful not to leave open wounds, and do not do so until the plant is dormant.  If you are using a wire mesh or newspaper collar, fill the remainder of the space with leaves, straw or pine needles in late November after the surface of the ground is frozen.  Hardy Rugosa varieties and miniature roses do not usually need winter protection.

The following article also describes more severe winter protection: Care of roses after planting
I am glad to see that your taking good care of your roses so that you will have more blooms to enjoy next year.

Thank you, should we prune it way back?

Hello, thanks for the followup question. I would not suggest any heavy pruning which might result in new growth that would be damaged by the coming winter weather. Follow the suggestions below from the links I provided.

Seasonal pruning

Climate often determines the best pruning time. Roses normally need a light fall pruning and a more thorough spring pruning.

Keep these factors in mind when pruning any roses:

  • Remove all dead wood.
  • Remove wood that is diseased, broken or injured in any way.
  • Remove any basal shoots on budded plants that are different from the main plant.
  • Remove branches that cross through the center of the plant or rub on other branches.
  • Prune to improve the shape of the plant.
  • Prune to provide good air movement through and around the plant.
  • Make cuts slightly above a strong bud that faces the outside of the plant.
  • Make all cuts clean and smooth by using sharp, disinfected pruning shears or knives