What could be better than enjoying a season of beautiful blooms and fragrant scents from your rosebush? Another season of the same. In order to enjoy your rosebushes year after year, you must properly prepare them to survive the winter. It's a simple task to undertake and well worth the effort.
Begin winter prep seasons ahead. Maintain rosebush health during the growing season by keeping pests and diseases under control. Stop fertilizing after July 31 to avoid promoting late-season growth that may be too tender to survive winter conditions. Do not deadhead after late summer; this will allow your bushes to develop rose hips, which promote plant hardening in advance of winter.
Taking these steps will ensure healthy rosebushes that are more likely to survive the winter.
Clean up and discard any diseased leaf debris at the base of each rosebush. Use twine to tie the canes together to prevent possible wind damage. To protect from freezing temperatures, place a mound of well-drained soil---8 to 12 inches deep---around the base of each bush. Have the mound of soil in place approximately two weeks before the average first frost date in your area. Add a layer of straw, bark or wood chip mulch for extra protection. Use evergreen bows or chicken wire fencing to hold the mulch in place.
Remove the protective mound of soil and mulch in early spring. (Replace the soil and mulch temporarily if there is danger of a sudden cold snap.)