GREATER MILWAUKEE ROSE SOCIETY
Disclaimer:  While the advice and information contained within this website is believed to be true and accurate, GMRS does not accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may have been made.  GMRS makes no warranty, expressed or implied with respect to the material contained herein.
This page was most recently updated on 3/20/2013
Frequently Asked Questions
WINTER PROTECTION:

How do I protect roses in the pot during winter? 
  • You may:
  • Remove the rose from the pot and bury the plant in your garden; or
  • Bury the entire pot for the winter; or
  • Place the potted rose in the coldest, darkest part of your garage.  Be sure to place it on some sort of wood pallet to keep it off the cold concrete.  Give it about one cup of water each month.

How do I winter protect climbers? 
  • Tie up the canes to keep them from whipping around in the wind.  Create a soil mound at the base.  You may want to wrap the canes in burlap.

Why do I have to bury the crown 2” deep? 
  • This is your first line of winter protection for the bud union.  It will protect this susceptible junction from our winter freeze-thaw cycles.

What works best for fall maintenance?  
  • Clean up the garden of all debris.  Tie up the canes of tall bushes to keep them from whipping around in the wind.
  • Create your soil mound over the center of the bush.
  • Don’t do any pruning until spring.  The plant forms its own form of anti-freeze in the canes.

What is the best way to winterize hybrid tea roses? 
  • Plant it properly with the bud union at least 2” below ground level
  • Stop feeding after Labor Day
  • Do not prune the bush in the fall
  • Use a soil mound for winter protection.

Is covering the base with about 10 inches of soil sufficient, or are rose cones essential?
  • Soil mounds are generally sufficient.  Rose cones typically promote stresses on the plant because the interior temperatures on a 30-degree winter/spring day can reach up to more than 50-60 degrees.

What is the best way to winterize shrub roses? 
  • Choose those that are winter hardy
  • Plant them properly with the bud union at least 2” below ground level
  • Typically, you will not need to do any winter protection.

Should climbers be cut back for winter protection or not?
  • No, just tie up the canes securely.  Do any pruning in spring when you know what is “good” white wood.