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How to Take Care of a Rose Tree

By Lucinda Gunnin ; Updated September 21, 2017

Caring for a rose tree is not an easy task for the novice gardener, but the beautiful grafted creations, also known as rose standards, can be a striking addition to any garden. The key to helping your rose tree thrive is to maintain the perfect conditions for the roses, which means protecting the rose tree from the elements and from itself.

Spring and Summer

Stake your rose tree. The center stalk, or cane, of the rose tree is its sole form of support and harsh spring and summer winds can rip the branches off the rose tree or cause it to tumble.

Pound the stake in as close to the cane as possible, being certain to avoid damaging the branches. Tie the cane to stake for additional support.

Place your rose tree is a well-lit area where it will receive adequate sunshine. In most North American climates, the rose tree should be kept in a container rather than planted directly in the soil. Temperatures below zero can damage the root structure and kill the rose tree. The rose tree needs six or more hours of direct sunlight during growing season.

Fertilize the rose tree according to the varieties of roses invluded in it. Avoid spray fertilizers as they may damage the delicate leaves and buds of the rose tree.

Spray the rose tree with anti-fungal agents and pesiticides after the rain because rain will wash away the protection.

Water the rose tree regularly. If soil is dry to the touch, it is too dry for the rose tree.

Deadhead your rose tree. Using clean, sharp pruning sheers remove spent blossoms. Be sure to remove them from the area as plant decay can encourage the development of fungus.

Fall and Winter Care

Prune the extended branches of the rose tree in early fall. Create the desired shape for your rose tree for next spring.

Snip only the branches. The center cane is very vulneratble to insect and disease and should never be pruned.

Create a protective housing for the winter. Use chicken wire or wire mesh to circle the rose tree in a cage. Using garden twine, attach the rose tree to cage to prevent winter ice and snow from breaking the branches.

Mulch around the base of the rose tree and then loosely fill the protective cage with mulch. Be sure to use fresh mulch to avoid introducing pests or disease to your rose tree.

Move the rose tree to an area where it will be sheltered from heavy snow or ice. The important thing to avoid is the freezing and thawing process which can put excess strain on the plant's winter hybernation.


Things You Will Need

  • Tall stakes
  • Hammer
  • Pruning sheers
  • Chicken wire
  • Garden twine
  • Mulch

About the Author


Lucinda Gunnin began writing in 1988 for the “Milford Times." Her work has appeared in “Illinois Issues” and dozens more newspapers, magazines and online outlets. Gunnin holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science from Adams State College and a Master of Arts in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield.