Tips from Olle Garden Bed: Autumn Rose Care: 7 Autumn Jobs Blooming in Summer

Preparing roses for winter in autumn can be a tedious task, so it is not surprising that even experienced gardeners sometimes procrastinate. The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.

After putting so much time and energy into planting roses (fertilization, withering, training) in spring and summer, it will definitely be bittersweet to let our roses go to bed.


It is gratifying that the rose care in the next autumn will get ten times the return in the garden. Here are some important rose autumn jobs that can help you enjoy the lovely flowers next year.

raised garden bed

  1. Stop fertilizing roses.

If you've been fertilizing roses, it's time to stop. Although we may continue to fertilize roses as long as we see the plants blooming, fertilization from late summer to early autumn is not a good idea.

As a general rule of thumb, you should stop fertilizing at least eight weeks before the first expected frost.

Fertilization in late autumn will encourage new growth, which will be very fragile when the temperature drops. Let the plants rest and prepare for winter.

  1. Don't kill your rose again.

I know, this sounds counterintuitive. Especially because withered heads are one of the main gardening tasks you have to do for roses all summer. But remember, the purpose of dead branches is to encourage plants to open more flowers, so as to prolong the flowering season.

Starting in October, you will want to do the opposite: your goal should be to encourage roses to go into dormancy. It should be no problem to cut a few roses for arrangement, but try to let most roses set hips (rose fruits) as a signal to plants, indicating that this is the end of the growing season. However, if any bud is not opened, you can remove it.

  1. Gently trim the dead, sick and damaged walking sticks.

If you want to do any hard pruning, you should wait until spring (but remember that not all roses benefit from hard pruning). This is because hard pruning (cutting the plant to the base) may encourage new growth, which is the last thing you want before the temperature drops.

But you still need to trim your roses slightly in the fall to remove dead, diseased and damaged stems.

First, take down the walking stick that may break in the season. Then cut off the cane with black spots or signs of mold. This is mandatory, because the black spots will survive the winter in the vines or leaf fragments, and will recover more strongly next year.

Finally, remove the cane that looks brown and shriveled. These stems have dried up and will not grow any new growth.

Whether in autumn or spring, the best way to trim roses is to use sharp garden scissors to make a clean 45 degree cut (slanting across the sugarcane). The cleaner the cut, the better.

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  1. Trim the remaining cane by one third.

The rose starts to lose its leaves from bottom to top, so in November, you only have the top heavy branches, just like a sail, to let the plants sway in the wind. This may cause the plant to yield to the elements and break. In some areas, winter winds may be strong enough to uproot young roses.

If possible, go out on a windy day and observe how the roses move. Then take down the piece swaying in the wind. This usually results in what is called a "one-third trim," because you will trim the first third of the cane.

If you can find any new buds swollen, cut the cane at an angle about half an inch higher than the outward facing buds. For most roses, the bud in spring is more obvious than that in autumn, so the suggestion of not pruning hard still applies.

  1. Clean and remove diseased leaves.

Similarly, our goal here is to disinfect roses as much as possible to prevent fungal infection next year.

Remove the leaf fragments accumulated around the base of the rose plant and dispose of them together with the household garbage. Although this may be tempting, do not add any diseased leaves to the compost pile, as few backyard compost piles are hot enough to kill fungal spores.

  1. Protect the roots and crowns of roses.

Most large flowers, flowers and hybrid tea roses need protection in winter. This advice applies even if your winter is not very cold.

In fact, it is the temperature fluctuation between below and above freezing point that damages roses and other perennial woody plants in winter, rather than the long cold weather.

If you can, you should let your roses experience several temperatures below freezing to make sure they sleep before you put them into winter. If the protective cover is used prematurely while the soil is still warm, the heat may be trapped in the soil. This in turn will encourage your rose plants to continue to grow. Again, this is not something you want to encourage before winter.

First, add a layer of nutrient rich compost, and then add a layer of mulch at the bottom of the rose plant. This will act as an insulation, moisture and barrier to prevent fungal spores from being stirred back.

Then continue to pile mounds (also known as hills) around the crown by adding loose, inflatable mulch (such as dead leaves, straw, bark, pine cones, or pine needles). However, avoid taking soil from around the bottom of plants to build mounds.

The general height of the mound is recommended to be about 10 inches (25 cm), and a few inches should be given or taken according to the age of the plant (young plants need more protection), the variety of roses you plant, and the cold degree in winter.

You can use burlap bags, tomato cages, or wire mesh to keep the mound. You can also buy the "Winter Rose Collar" wrapped in the mound to prevent it from rolling in the rain.

Please remember that you need to demolish this mound in early spring, so although you want to make it a solid structure, do not let it be too harsh on yourself. As the weather warms, the cover is gradually removed to protect any new shoots that may form under the protective layer.

raised garden bed

  1. If necessary, continue to water the roses.

It depends on the amount of precipitation you experience in the fall. However, if you notice that it is not raining, it is usually a good idea to continue to water the roses. This is especially important if you are experiencing warm September or strong winds that tend to dry plants.

Even in winter, plants are weakened by drought, so it is important to make every effort to reduce the pressure on roses.

Can I transplant my roses in autumn?

Yes, you can. When the roses are dormant (usually in late October), you can dig them out and transplant them to a more suitable place. Before migration, trim them as described above to make relocation easier.

After replanting them, make sure they are thoroughly watered and stacked as described above. Newly transplanted rose roots are more sensitive to temperature fluctuations, so they are stuffed in for winter.

Like any other plant, the main advice about wintering roses comes before you even put them underground. No matter how attractive some rose varieties are when we browse the autumn catalogue or in the garden center, if they are not suitable for your climate and cold resistant areas, they are not worth the trouble.

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