Monthly Rose Care Tips


  • Gradually remove covering (mulch) on crown of plant when days start warming up.  Keep it close in case of a cold snap.
  • If you use rose cones for protection, you will need to vent the top to all escape of warm air.
  • Do not remove either of the above covers all at once, as the new growth underneath is tender and will freeze out easily.
  • Clean & sharpen all tools!



  • Prune your plant– Trim down to where new growth starts and you have nice green canes.  Remove all dead wood, weak and damaged canes, or any that cross or touch in any way.  Remove any old debris (leaves etc.)
  • Look for the Forsythia flower — this is a good guide to tell you it’s time to prune your roses.
  • This is also a good time to transplant your roses if you need them moved.
  • By the end of the month all crown protection will be removed.  Watch the temperatures at night, as the plants will need to be covered until after the frost date (May 15)
  • Start Fertilizing with a slow release fertilizer, mixing this into the soil around the drip line of your plant (outer edge where the rain, or watering runs off the plant and hits the ground) and water in well.



  • Start fertilizing with a water soluble plant food, such as Garden Elements Bud & Bloom, every 2 weeks depending on your soil.  If it is all clay you may want to fertilize less.
  • When your new leaves are out start a spray program.  There are several on the market and all work well.  Orthonex Insect and Disease Control is one that controls both insects and disease with an added mitacide.  Spray every 7-10 days.
  • A rose plant that is disease and insect free and is fertilized regularly is a healthy and happy one, and will go thru the winter better than one that is not.



  • Dead head blooms and keep out weak and crossing canes on your plant.  Dead head at the 5 leaflet on the outside of the cane.
  • Continue fertilizing & spraying for disease and insects.


  • It may be time to fertilize with your slow release fertilizer again; depends on which one you used (4 month, 6 month etc.)  Remember to water it in well.
  • Continue dead heading and keeping your plant healthy by spraying for disease and insects.


  • Continue dead heading & spraying for disease & insects.
  • Continue to use water soluble fertilizer.


  • Dead head thru the end of the month then stop!  You want your roses to start setting rose hips.  This slows down plant growth and hardens the plant for winter.
  • This is the last time you can fertilize your roses; stop at the end of this month.


  • The only pruning needed to do this month, is to remove any tall canes that will be whipped around in the wind this winter.


  • While the temperatures are above 40 degrees spray your plants with dormant oil.  This will kill any insects or eggs that are hiding in your plants.  And you can start next season insect free!



  • After Thanksgiving or in December, for grafted roses put 10-12 inches of soil/ mulch on the crown of your plant or add a rose cone/ collar. Otherwise, if you own a Knock Out, shrub, own-root or ground cover rose, leave them alone until March/April.