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Over-Wintering Roses In Containers

comments (9) October 22nd, 2010 in blogs
PFZimmerman Paul Zimmerman, contributor
15 users recommend

Henri Matisse .  A rose from the French Nursery Delbard that is delightful in a pot.  Availble from our good friends at Roses Unlimited in South Carolina. Click the image to enlarge.

Henri Matisse .  A rose from the French Nursery Delbard that is delightful in a pot.  Availble from our good friends at Roses Unlimited in South Carolina.


A lot of the newer (and older), smaller roses are great for growing in containers on your patio, deck or even out in your garden.  I’ve always felt they look terrific with plants like herbs spilling out the sides.

But if you live in a climate that gets a real winter what do you with the container and the rose when those cold north winds come blowing through?  If you leave the rose outside it will likely die from the cold, but since roses need full sun you can’t bring it inside.  Or can you?
   
Yes, you can and you should.  During winter a rose is totally dormant and because of this it doesn’t matter if it’s in the sun or not.  Now, I don’t advocate shutting it in a dark closet, but a non-heated room with some natural light is perfect.  Like a garage near a window.

Why unheated?

Because you want the rose to stay dormant during winter and placing it in a heated room will wake it up.  And once woken up it will need sunshine and since it’s too cold to put the rose outside….. well, you get the picture.

Simply wait for the rose to go naturally dormant and when that first deep freeze is forecast, like 25 F (-4 C) or below, go ahead and bring it inside.  Once inside don’t let the soil dry out but don’t water it regularly either.  Since the rose is dormant it won’t be taking up water.  Just make sure the soil remains slightly moist and you’ll be fine

Come spring when the rose starts to wake up take it back outside.  If you get an unexpected late spring freeze bring it back inside or just throw a blanket over it.

Roses in containers are a wonderful sight in any garden and even if you live in a cold climate keeping them for years to come is a snap.

Happy Roseing
Paul



posted in: winter, rose, container

Comments (9)

PFZimmerman writes: I would cut it back before you bring it in provided it appears to be dormant. Generally the first good couple of frosts will shut down any new growth. Posted: 10:39 am on October 29th
sandyiniowa writes: Should you cut it back when you bring it in? Posted: 1:15 pm on October 19th
PFZimmerman writes: I have no personal experience with roses in temperatures like ottowa but I know of people who do keep them in unheated garages up north with little trouble. Posted: 3:53 pm on September 5th
PFZimmerman writes: I have no personal experience with roses in temperatures like ottowa but I know of people who do keep them in unheated garages up north with little trouble. Posted: 3:53 pm on September 5th
JoAnneL writes: I live in Ottawa where winters frequently go well below 0 farenheit. And my unheated garage has no windows. Will my rose still survive? Posted: 1:10 pm on August 29th
PFZimmerman writes: A shed will work just fine. Don't worry about wrapping the pots and if the rootball freezes it won't hurt the roses. The temperature underneath frozen water is actually just above freezing due to the friction of the freezing. It's why citrus farmers in Florida spray water on the fruit before a freeze because the ice is actually insulation.

At my old nursery I had thousands of roses in pots and the entire rootball would freeze on a regular basis with no problems.

Just don't keep them soaking wet. A little moist is all you need. Posted: 8:34 am on December 1st
Mrs_K writes: I live in upstate NY where it is often around 0 or lower over the winter. I d not have a garage, just an unheated woodshed. Will that do? Should I wrap the pots in insulation before putting them in the shed? If I water the roses won't the water just freeze in the pot? I do have a basement, but it is heated. HELP! Posted: 12:13 pm on November 30th
PFZimmerman writes: Great point and thanks for posting it! Posted: 3:37 pm on October 25th
Rosarian writes: I would just like to add to keep the containers a few inches (2-4) off the cemment floor of the garage.

Bill Posted: 11:52 am on October 22nd
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