Rose tree Winterizing


I read that a rose tree will survive the winter if i put a pool noodle around the stem, hay at the base and then bubble wrap and burlap on the branches (cut back) Does this sound like a successful method for leaving a rose tree outside in our winters?


Dear gardener, what an interesting question to give the Toronto Master Gardeners to start our Fall: How to overwinter standard rose trees.

I was fascinating with this recipe for overwintering. It is a rather an unusual combination, and the scientist in me would be very interested in finding out whether research can demonstrate that it can work. I googled “winterizing standard rose with pool noodle” and found your source: Youtube advice. The video has been watched over 3,000 times!

The difference between what I am about to suggest and the “The Rose Geek’s” advice may be because of the difference between hardiness zones. Toronto is in plant hardiness zone 6; by the American system, we are in plant hardiness zone 5A. If you would like to learn more about plant hardiness zones, you may find this article by the Toronto Master Gardeners interesting: Plant Hardiness zones

Standard roses are grafted and are not hardy enough to withstand our winters. The most usual way of overwintering standard roses is to put them in a plastic container, and bring them into a cool, protected area like your garage (not indoors as that will be too hot) where it does not go below zero degrees Celsius. Don’t pot them up in a ceramic pot since those are more prone to freezing and cracking.

You might also consider laying the rose on its side and creating a trench where it can “sleep” for the winter, protected by the soil and a layer of hay or straw. This is a rather more complicated strategy and is not recommended for the inexperienced gardener. The practice is described by this advice from Iowa State University.

The best idea to get you out of this problem, is to choose roses that are hardy for our area. This piece from a Toronto Master Gardener, hardy rose varieties includes that list. Advice on how to overwinter these rose bushes can be found here.


Sept. 26/2022