subscribe
YouTube
Pinterest
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
Search

How Do You Safely Overwinter Rose Containers?

By: Jessie Keith

How Do You Safely Overwinter Rose Containers?

“I have roses in containers. What is the best way to overwinter them in zone 6b? I have a Winchester Cathedral, a Young Lycidas, and a Jubilee Celebration. There is another one that looks similar to the Young Lycidas, but the flowers and scent are a bit different. It is also a David Austin rose, but it was unmarked when I got it from a nursery a couple of years ago.” – Question from Kristen of Stephens City, Virginia

Answer: Start by identifying the hardiness zones for each rose, if you can. In this instance, Winchester Cathedral, Young Lycidas, and Jubilee Celebration are all hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 5-11. The rule of thumb is that potted shrubs must be at least two hardiness zones hardier than yours to reliably survive winter in an exposed container. Because you live in a Zone 6 area, and your roses are not hardy to Zone 4, you will need to protect your potted roses from hard freezes.

How to Protect Potted Roses from Hard Freezes

There are several methods. Just remember, that regardless of where you place your rose, the pot cannot become completely dry. If placed in a garage or under a patio or eave, supplemental water will be needed to keep the plants alive. Too much moisture can also be detrimental, so I recommend twice-monthly watering through winter, to be safe. Here are four reliable methods of protection.

  1. Protect the pots and roses where they stand. Mound Black Gold Garden Compost Blend around the base of the rose, wrap the top in burlap (tops can be tied or lightly pruned to make this process easier). Mound mulch or moistened chopped leaves along the base of the pot as insulation.
  2. Move the pots of a protected area against the side of the house away from wind. If you live in a very windy area, use this outdoor method. Mound compost around the base of the rose, and wrap the top in burlap. Mound mulch or moistened chopped leaves along the base of the pot to act as insulation.
  3. Move the pots to a protected garage. Place your pots in a safe zone in the garage. Slightly dry roses overwinter better than overwatered ones, so maintain light watering as detailed above.
  4. Move the pots to a protected basement or root cellar that remains cold enough to keep them dormant. Freezing or near-freezing temperatures are necessary.

In the spring, remove any protective coverings and organic layers. It is especially important to move the compost away from the base of the rose and into the garden.

I hope that these tips help!

Happy gardening,

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist

About Jessie Keith


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Content Disclaimer:

This site may contain content (including images and articles) as well as advice, opinions and statements presented by third parties. Sun Gro does not review these materials for accuracy or reliability and does not endorse the advice, opinions, or statements that may be contained in them. Sun Gro also does not review the materials to determine if they infringe the copyright or other rights of others. These materials are available only for informational purposes and are presented “as is” without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including without limitation warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. Reliance upon any such opinion, advice, statement or other information is at your own risk. In no event shall Sun Gro Horticulture Distribution, Inc. or any of its affiliates be liable to you for any inaccuracy, error, omission, fact, infringement and the like, resulting from your use of these materials, regardless of cause, or for any damages resulting there from.

While we have made every effort to ensure the information on this website is reliable, Sun Gro Horticulture is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information in this site is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information.

Use of this site is subject to express terms of use. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use

View Our Privacy Policy