How to Winterize Climbing Roses


As the warm growing season begins to fade and cooler autumn winds blow, a rose gardener must focus efforts on preparing roses for winter weather. Climbing roses offer particular challenges when winterizing, because you must protect the entire rose plant (including the canes growing up the support trellis). Winterize climbing roses carefully, to ensure every portion of the rose plant has snug insulation from harsh winter temperatures. Climbing roses will return the following spring with healthy vigor.

Step 1

Remove the canes from the support trellis. If you tied the canes to the trellis with plant ties, either untie the ties or snip them with the scissors. If you attached the canes with wires, untwist the wires or snip them with wire cutters.

Step 2

Lay the canes down horizontally on the soil at the base of the trellis or support structure. Stacking the canes on top of each other is fine.

Step 3

Cover the canes with 4 inches of top soil, making sure that top soil thoroughly covers every cane.

Step 4

Add a 2-inch layer of shredded mulch over the top of the top soil to insulate the canes further.

Step 5

Cover the crown of the climbing rose plant with at least 10 inches of top soil, mounding the soil high to provide thorough protection.

Step 6

Remove the top soil and mulch in very early spring to prepare the climbing roses for the upcoming growing season.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Top soil
  • Shredded mulch (wood chips, bark or leaves)


  • South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service: Winterizing Roses
  • University of Illinois Extension: Winter Protection
Keywords: preparing roses, winter weather, winterize climbing roses

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.