Winter Rose Care

climbing rose

Essential Tips to Maintain Your Roses Through Winter

As winter sets in, it’s crucial to take proactive steps to safeguard your beloved rose bushes from the harsh weather. With a little extra care and attention, you can ensure that your roses remain healthy and vibrant, ready to burst into bloom come spring.

I’ve put together a guide on how to look after your roses during the winter months:

deadheading roses

Pruning and Deadheading

Before the frost arrives, it’s important to prune your roses to remove any dead, diseased, or damaged branches. This not only promotes healthy growth but also prevents the spread of diseases. Winter rose care by deadheading the spent blooms encourages new growth and prevents the development of rose hips, which can divert energy away from the plant.



A thick layer of organic mulch around the base of the rose plant provides insulation, helping to regulate soil temperature and protect the roots from freezing. Use materials like compost, shredded bark, or straw to create a protective barrier against the cold.

watering roses

Winter Rose Care & Watering

While it’s essential to keep your roses well-watered during the growing season, it’s equally important not to overwater them during winter. Ensure the soil is moist but not waterlogged, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot. Water your roses deeply before the ground freezes to provide ample hydration throughout the dormant period.

winter rose care - protecting from frost

Protecting from Frost

As temperatures plummet later in the year, shield your rose bushes from frost by covering them with a frost blanket. This simple measure can prevent damage caused by freezing temperatures, especially in more delicate varieties. The best material to use for covering plants is polypropylene fabric. It dries more quickly than other materials, is breathable for plants, and is lightweight enough not to cause any damage to delicate plants. Additionally, consider adding a layer of straw around the base of the plant for added insulation.

spraying pests and diseases

Pest and Disease Prevention

An essential part of winter rose care is thoroughly inspecting your roses for any signs of pests or disease. Treat any issues accordingly to prevent them from overwintering and causing further damage. Applying a dormant oil spray, such as Rose Clear Ultra, can help eliminate pests and their eggs, while also preventing the onset of common diseases such as powdery mildew or black spot.

winter feeding

Winter Feeding

Consider providing your roses with a slow-release fertiliser specifically formulated for winter use such as, Miracle-Gro Rose & Shrub Continuous Release Plant Food. This will supply them with essential nutrients during the dormant period, ensuring they have the necessary resources to support healthy growth when spring arrives.

raking fallen leaves

Practicing Good Garden Hygiene

Keep your garden clean by removing any fallen leaves or debris around the base of your roses. This minimises the risk of disease and pest infestations and promotes overall plant health.

By implementing these winter care practices, you can protect your roses and set the stage for beautiful blooms come spring. Remember that a little extra attention now can go a long way in preserving the health and vitality of your garden roses.

If you would like more advice about rose care then please get in touch to find out what support I can offer.

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