All You Need to Know About Caring for Your Roses This Fall
Autumn is already here so our roses require some help to get ready for the cooler weather. For those that grow roses and live in the warmer regions, it’s time to get them ready for another flush blooms. For those living in the cooler climates fall is a great time to get your roses sleeping through winter.
All roses go dormant season in winter, when growth stops they go through a period of rest. In colder regions, USDA Zone 7 and below, the preparation for winter starts early in fall, while in warmer zones you can use fall to prepare roses for their next bloom cycle.
Fall Rose Care for Cold-Winter Regions: Zone 7 and Below
1. Stop deadheading roses eight weeks before the first frost date. This will tell the rosebush to slow down in preparation for cold weather ahead and stop producing new blooms.
2. Apply fertilizer for the last time no later than 6 weeks before the average forecasted frost date. New rose growth is extremely susceptible to damage from freezing temperatures.
3. Once you have experienced a couple of hard frosts, lightly prune back tall roses so that they are 4 to 5 feet tall.
4. Clip off any diseased foliage. Fungal diseases, such as black spot and powdery mildew, can overwinter and reinfect plants the next spring.
5. Get rid of fallen leaves and other rose debris, which can also harbor harmful fungal diseases and insects.
6. Water well after the first hard frost.
7. Apply a 2-3 inch layer of compost around the root zone, which will act as a mulch that also helps to enrich the soil.
Fall Rose Care for Mild-Winter Regions: Zone 8 and Above
Roses in warmer regions are subjected to hot summer temperatures, which leaves them a little worse for wear.
1. In late August through mid-September, lightly prune back the roses, and remove up to 1/3 of their outer growth.
2. Remove all rose debris, including fallen leaves, in order to protect roses from diseases.
3. Apply rose fertilizer at the same time, working it into the top inch of soil around the root zone. Water well before and after applying the fertilizer. The last time you should apply fertilizer should be no later than 6 weeks before the first frost date for your area.
4. Apply a 2-3 inch layer of compost to help conserve soil moisture.
5. Deadhead flowers to promote the production of new roses through the fall.
6. Make sure there aren’t any fungal diseases, such as black spot and powdery mildew, and treat accordingly.
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