The cool season has left many of us dreaming of spring, lush gardens, and the scent of roses in the air. That’s why you should take advantage of this time to perform your winter rose care, and encourage your roses to bloom plentifully this year.

What kind of roses do you have? The type of roses you have will determine how much care they need right now. Some especially hardy varieties, like David Austin roses, require very little care. Other types, like hybrid tea or Floribunda varieties, need a bit more care in the winter. But since our weather remains relatively mild here in Southern California, they probably won’t be too much trouble.

If you don’t know what type of roses you have, we can probably help you identify them with a picture of the blooms. Or you can download one of the many smartphone apps that aid in plant identification.

If you grow roses in pots… Simply move the pots to an insulated location, like a gardening shed, and water aparingly when the soil is completely dry (about once per month).

Protect your roses in their dormant period. Roses need to go dormant and stay that way for the duration of the cool season, because off-and-on attempts at growth can damage the plants. Encourage them to remain dormant by not deadheading after fall, holding the fertilizer, and heaping soil or mulch over the base of the plant.

Extra cold-sensitive plants can be insulated with a wire hoop and collar filled with leaves. The leaves will provide a bit of heat as they decompose.

Prune back roses. Once the plants are completely dormant (they should be now) prune canes back to about half their size.

Water occasionally. Roses don’t need much water during their dormant period. If you experience exceptionally dry weather, water your roses lightly if the soil is very dry to the touch.

And as always, give us a call if you have questions about maintaining your landscape at any time. We can advise you on how to keep your outdoor space looking its best all year.