The Q&A Archives: Preparing Hedge Roses for Winter

Question: I planted hedge roses this year, and I've been diligently deadheading them. should I continue to deadhead the roses right up until the frost hits? Is there anything else I should do to help them prepare for winter?

Answer: There isn't much you need to do to winterize a hedge rose; they are pretty carefree. Be sure to stop fertilizing at least six weeks before the first frost. If you apply fertilizer later than that, you can get a flush of new growth that will be quickly destroyed when the cold weather hits. Also, stop deadheading at this point and let the spent blooms turn into hips (seed pods). When this occurs, it triggers the rose to begin going into dormancy. Other than that, you should remove any damaged or diseased canes before winter.

To help minimize disease problems, be sure to clean up any leaf litter or plant debris from around the roses--pests can overwinter on this material.

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