Rose Trees – Winter Care

Q: I have two lovely rose trees in pots that did very well this summer. They are five feet tall and two feet wide. As cold weather arrives, should I cut them back? Should I bring them inside for the winter or leave them outdoors?

A: Trained tree-type roses like you have should be treated much like any other rose. Leave them outdoors in winter, but protect the container’s roots if temperatures drop below 20 degrees. Do minor pruning in December and major pruning in late February. At that time you can remove branches that cross through the middle and shorten other branches by half, back to an outward-facing bud. It’s important to keep the main stem from flexing in the wind in winter. Check the ties that attach the support stake to the stem and make sure all are firmly in place.

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