The Q&A Archives: Roses - containerised- overwintering

Question: Hi! I live in northern British Columbia,55 North, Canadian Zone 2 or marginal 3 (90 frost free days, altitude 2700 ft.) This summer I bought several containerised roses, a number of hardy shrubs and a few HT's, intending to plant them as soon as I could get the neglected garden area in shape. However, we decided to move within town with the result that the roses were not planted out. Our temperatures can (and often do)drop to minus 40 Celsius. We usually have about two feet of dry snow. I would welcome your suggestions on how best to overwinter this stock. Thanking you in anticipation.

Answer: I think your best bet is to bring them into a sheltered area such as a garage where they can be stored very cool but not quite frozen. Leave them outside until they go dormant. Keep the soil barely damp (water just enough it does not go bone dry). In the early spring, take them back outside so they can wake up naturally with the season; resume normal watering and fertilizing as they come out of dormancy. For the roses in particular, strip off any remaining foliage before storage and prune them in the spring as you normally would when you take them outside again. Best of luck!

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