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Winter Care of Roses

The best winter protection you can give a rose is to keep it strong and healthy through summer and fall.


  • Leave on the last blooms of fall so they'll form fruit, or hips. This process slows growth and helps trigger plant dormancy.
  • Rake leaves from around your plants to prevent diseases.
  • Apply a dormant spray or oil to help get rid of diseases that might return in the spring.
  • Water if there is no rain or snow for more than two weeks to keep roses healthy and prevent them from drying out.
  • If your winters are severe, you'll need to give your roses additional, special protection.

Hybrid teas, floribundas, and shrubs:

Give them a final fungicidal spray, or dust the canes and the surface of the soil around the plants. cover the crowns with a mound of soil about 6 high, then cover the plants and mound with straw (hay contains weed seeds). You don't need to trim back hybrid teas, floribundas, and shrubs unless you live where winter winds are severe.


Cover the base of your climbers with soil. Tie the canes and wrap them in burlap. For severe-winter areas, anchor the canes to the ground and cover them with straw.

Tree Roses:

In areas where winter temperatures are below 10 degrees, remove any stakes and bend your tree roses downward to the ground. Anchor the stem; if necessary, lift one side of the root ball so trunks can lie flat. Cover with soil and straw.