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.
Hello Mike, what did you mean when you say “Spent, and or Deadhead”, I’ve never heard those phrases before,
Spent is a flower that is no longer viable, completely used up. To deadhead is to remove that spent flower.
Can one gallon rose bushes in pots be stored outside safely during winter? I am in Virginia?
Of all things to store outside uncovered for the winter I would consider rose bushes to be the most at risk. But then again, it depends on the variety, whether or not they are grafted and what kind of winter they are about to experience. At the very least I would move them to a protected area out of the wind. Even if you just sink the pots in the ground until spring that would be best.
Thank you for your quick reply. I plan to root some family rose bushes. If I end up with more rooting than expected I may have more than my rose garden will hold in the summer and would like to store outside during the winter in Va. Is there a safe way to do this? They are not grafted. Sinking the pots in the ground is no problem, should I cover with a tarp or anything? Any ideas would be wonderful.
The safest way to protect plants for the winter is covering them with white, not clear plastic, but the plastic should not lay on the plants. see this https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2013/11/over-wintering-protecting-plants-for-the-winter/
Margaret Craig says
I just love roses—can I turn down (climbing rose bush) in the fall, putting it into the soil so I can clip it next spring and have multiple bushes.
I think my mom did something like this but just cannot remember