Rose Bushes Care Over Winter*


My wife and I planted 8 different types of roses this year–total amount is 16. We never did this before. Two of them are climbers. For the winter I was told to add mulch (10 “) around base. I am also going too use Wilt stop. My problem is how much should I cut back on each rose bush as some of them are tall.



Thank you for contacting The Toronto Master Gardeners with your very timely question. As the days get shorter our thoughts turn to putting the trees, shrubs and perennials which we enjoyed all summer to bed.

Getting your roses ready to survive the winter actually begins in the fall. You should have stopped fertilizing your roses in August to allow the plant to shut down.  It is best not to cut or prune your roses at this time of year as the cuts will not have sufficient time to callus over before winter. However, canes that are showing disease should be removed. Canes of taller or climbing roses can be loosely tied together using twine or fabric strips to prevent damage from winter winds.

After several days of below freezing temperatures, create a mound of soil, compost, shredded leaves or evergreens 8 to 10 inches deep over the base of the plant. Mounding keeps the rose uniformly cold, which reduces the chance of damage to the graft union caused by cycles of freeze and thaw.

Additional detailed information on winterizing roses along with links to pruning roses and putting your garden to bed can be found on one of our earlier posts

This  link provides you with a video of Mark Cullen winterizing roses.