Rose bushes are a favorite plant among many home gardeners. However, if you grow them and live in a region that experiences bitterly cold winters, you will have to winterize them in preparation for the cold weather. This will protect your roses so that they can return in the following season and grow even more beautifully than before.
There are several ways you can winterize rose bushes. In general, however, you will have to make sure to perform these actions prior to the first frost, as roses will not withstand ultra freezing temperatures. The first thing you can do is to prune your rose bush, limiting it to around three feet in height. Make sure to cut away the parts above any outwardly facing buds. Trim away limbs that are smaller and leave three to five or the largest, thickest and healthiest canes.
Remove the leaves from the branches and canes you leave on the bush. This is a good idea because leaves can be conducive to disease. Tie the canes together with a twine that will withstand the winter time. Use a spray of oil over the bush that can protect them from any diseases that might run rampant in the soil bed. Five tablespoons of the oil mixed with a gallon of water should be sufficient.
Another good way to winterize your rose bushes is to prepare them for the harsh, freezing temperatures by the middle of fall. To start, thoroughly water your roses, and afterward, apply a good, thick layer of mulch or compost materials around their bed. This will retain the moisture in the soil and protect your rose bushes from any wildly growing weeds that are already present or that may grow during the cooler season. Above all else, avoid fertilizing your roses by this time, as doing so can have them growing at the time when they should be dormant.