Winter rose care is not as difficult as you might think. As the temperatures drop you may be wondering how to best care for your lovely roses. If they are already planted then you don’t need to worry. The roses will be dormant now after a few frosts so the cold weather shouldn’t affect them.
From January to March you can prune the canes on the rose bushes, apart from the climbing roses, down to about half their height. This helps keep the strength in the plant so canes aren’t broken in heavy winter storms. To help protect plants that little bit more, add a little mulch or more soil to the base of the rose. This will help to provide a better root barrier.
Earlier in the season if you have fed your roses this will help them too. Roses enjoy the rest in the winter so they can grow as the warmth of Spring and Summer begins.
Climbing roses roses can be protected too with mulch and soil around the base, you can also protect canes with a cover or fleece that you can buy from a garden centre. This will help to protect those beautiful canes,
Caring for your new rose
If you have bought or received a rose during these winter months, you shouldn’t plant it out during cold or frozen conditions. Bare roots should be planted up on arrival, but if its too cold or freezing then you can keep them in a container of slightly moist compost until you can plant them out. Bare roots are best planted in late autumn or late winter to early spring but can be planted in the winter as long as ground conditions are right.
Potted roses are very similar. They can be planted year round, but once again not into frozen, hard, very dry or waterlogged ground. If you are going to pot them up in a larger pot, that is better. Basically the bigger the container the better as rose roots spread downwards. For more planting advice take a look at the RHS site.
Roses don’t like being planted where other roses have been before them, so bear that in mind when you are deciding on where you will plant them.
It is care from the planting stage onwards that will make a rose thrive. If you are looking for gifting inspiration take a look at our blogs.