With winter just around the corner, it’s time to think about preparing your roses for winter. The steps listed below will help your plants survive the ever-changing East Texas weather.
Roses need 1-2 inches of water each week during the growing season. As cold weather sets in, reduce the amount of water but remember to not let them dry out completely. Plants need water during dry spells, even during winter months.
Continue spraying for black spot fungus.
Watch for insects and treat only if there is a problem. Use pesticides labeled for the pests you are targeting and follow label directions.
Discontinue fertilizing your roses.
To slow down the plant growth and allow the plant to harden off, leave the rose hips on the bush after the last blooming cycle.
Add additional mulch to protect roots and conserve moisture.
Roses grown in containers need to be put in the ground, container and all, in a protected area of the yard.
To prevent wind damage on large rose bushes, cut the canes back to 3 feet.
By taking these simple steps, your roses should make it through the winter just fine.
Sue Adee, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas AgriLife Extension Service