Proper care of rose plants in the fall will help ensure that your plants come back strong and healthy next spring.
Roses love the warm days and cool nights in the fall and often put out their best blooms for fall enjoyment. Fall weather encourages the plants to form more perfect blossoms, but the weather can also encourage blackspot, one of the most common rose problems. Blackspot can defoliate a rose plant, and a plant that loses its leaves too soon will struggle to survive through winter. Maintain a regular schedule of fungicide sprays for your roses until the plants go dormant and drop their leaves naturally.
Gardeners in cold climates should stop fertilizing their roses in early September. No matter where you live, a general rule for roses is to stop applying fertilizers one month prior to the first frost date for your area, or a month before the deciduous trees typically drop their leaves.
Pruning your roses will encourage new growth and will also cause the sap to run in the stems. Tender new growth is vulnerable to winter damage, so rose plants should not be pruned in the fall.
During the growing season, the spent blossoms should be deadheaded often, and this will also encourage new growth. But stop deadheading spent blossoms about a month before the first frost. This will allow the remaining blooms to develop into rosehips and signal the plant to prepare for winter and go dormant.
Go ahead and cut a few of the more beautiful blossoms to enjoy indoors if you want, but try to limit any pruning or cutting of the plant in the fall.