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Winterizing the Rose Beds

October 18, 2022


It has been quite the productive season in the Swetland Rose Garden at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens! Out went the old roses, and in went the new. Perennials and bulbs were planted, path extensions were installed, and with just a few more additions this spring, the rose garden renovation will be complete.

Except that the work has only just begun! These young roses are in for their first Cleveland winter, and just as we try to prepare ourselves for a rollercoaster of weather, they, too, need a little assistance. So how do you prepare your hybrid teas, floribundas*, and the like?

A few timely steps will help your roses survive:

  • As of late August, resist the urge to deadhead and prune. Deadheading will encourage new growth when you want dormancy to start. Cutting roses back after August can expose them to fall fungi and disease. No more fertilizing, either!
  • After the first hard frost or two, remove old debris like fallen leaves and give the roses a good drink for the winter. Apply a dormant oil spray to keep disease at bay.
  • Also after a hard frost, mulch up those rose crowns with 6-10 inches (diameter and depth) of soil, compost, or other organic matter (pine boughs, oak leaves, etc.).
  • Relax until spring!

Come visit us in spring, when our new roses awaken from their winter slumber and show off their kaleidoscope of color!

*In choosing our roses, we chose Floribundas, which are a hardier type of rose. We also bought varieties that are own-root and disease resistant, which are great advantages for winter survival.

leaf humus for mulching up roses
Remove old leaves from around the roses
Resist the urge to deadhead!
Time to put the roses to bed for the winter
Visit us for new spring blooms!
Stefanie Verish, B.A. Studio Art, Botany, Zoology

Stefanie Verish, B.A. Studio Art, Botany, Zoology


Stefanie is a new employee to CBG, but she has been working with plants for over 20 years. Her career as a naturalist with Cleveland Metroparks, her horticultural experience in landscaping for the Village of Valley View, and her freelance artistry have nurtured her love for gardening and design. She is especially passionate about utilizing native plants as integral components for local gardens.

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