Care For Roses In The Fall

Preparing Your Rose Bush for Next Season


In my opinion, roses are the queen of flowers, these garden beauties are very elegant and will bring that touch of class to a garden and landscape design. Roses are popular and are grown in many home gardens or purchased in floral arrangements to brighten up that special someone’s day but as the winter months approach, it brings with it not only the change in temperature but also moist conditions which can have an adverse effect on your rose bush.

Roses that are grown in the home garden, however, must be groomed during the fall months so when the following season arrives your rose bushes will perform at their best bursting with healthy flower bloom which will make you proud.

If this describes you then stick around and continue reading as we prepare our rose bushes for the spring and summer months.

Tools you will need

  • Pruners
  • Loppers
  • Rake
  • Heavy-duty garden gloves
  • Cleaning Solution
  • Garbage Bags

These tools will make the operation cleanup of your rose bushes easy as you prepare your roses for the winter months.

Operation procedures of your roses bushes

  • Removing spent flowers
  • The removal of diseased parts
  • Pruning overgrowth
  • Avoid Transplanting
  • Raking
  • Discontinue Fertilizing
  • The use of mulch

Once these operating procedures are carried out correctly your rose bushes will produce quality roses.

The removal of spent flowers

1. The removal of spent flowers is so important because when these flowers are removed garden plants can now focus all of their energies on more flower bloom but with the approach of the winter months, it is best to discontinue deadheading so that the tender growth of your rose bush can harden of preparing them for those cold days. This practice should be carried out 2 months before the first frost.

The removal of diseased parts

2. Plant disease can be traced back to the decline of many garden plants, therefore it is of importance that we diagnose and treat garden plant disease at the first sign. To ensure that your rose bush will survive the winter months you want to keep them as healthy as possible removing any diseased part that may weaken your plant. Leaves that are diseased can be removed with a hand pruner, a hand pruner can also be used on canes that are thicker but if the cane is too thick then lopping shears are the best choice.

One important thing to keep in mind and that is your tools must be sterilized to avoid spreading disease from one plant to the next. A mixture of half a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of bleach thoroughly mixed together and then applied to the tool’s blade is a must. This solution can be applied by adding the mixture to a 32 0z bottle sprayer or applying this mixture to a piece of clean cloth and gently cleaning the entire blade.

Pruning Overgrowth

The removal of overgrowth will not only help your rose bush to maintain its natural form but this procedure will help to stabilize your rose bush so it won’t be uprooted rocking back and forth during those winter months when the wind might be too strong.

Avoid Transplanting

With the transplanting procedures, your rose bush will produce new growth, you also want to discourage this as your roses enter the winter months which can cause damage to the new growth.


A clean garden contributes to a healthy garden, keeping your garden free of debris like litter and weeds will help greatly because weeds will encourage garden insect pests and debris such as fallen leaves can influence disease.

The pathogen which causes fungal disease can overwinter in the litter surrounding your rose bush, with a garden rake ensure that all debris is removed from the soil level or from the base of your rose bush.

Discontinue Fertilizing

Don’t fertilize during this time of the year because this will encourage new growth which can be winter-killed.

The use of mulches

The use of mulches is so important and benefits garden plants in so many ways. Mulches beautify giving that nice detailed clean appearance, the use of mulches also keeps weed down, retains moisture, will add nutrients to the soil ( natural organics ) as it decomposes but mulches can help to protect your rose bush roots from the cold as the ground freezes it acts as an insulator.

Additional Information

  • Powdery Mildew
  • Black Spot

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a white powdery looking substance that forms on the leave’s surface, control this disease by watering plants early in the morning so that the leaves can have time to dry, try watering your rose bushes from the base or soil level. Applying baking soda to the plant’s leaves will offer some help also fungicide labeled to treat powdery mildew will help.

Black Spot

Black spots are encouraged by hot days with cold damp nights, summers which are humid, rainy, and hot. This disease is brought on by fungus. Signs of black spot shows up as the leaves turning yellow with black circular spots that cover the entire leave both the top and the underside.

If this disease is not treated immediately can weaken the entire plant also causing ( defoliation ) or the plant to lose all of its leaves. Younger canes that are infected produce blisters that are black or take on a dark purplish appearance.

The flowers will also take on an off-color, producing fewer flower buds without any leaves. At this point, your plant is weakened and if not address will die.

To avoid black spots ensure that good air circulation is provided, give your rose bush the proper spacing from other plants also thin out the center by removing several canes.

When irrigating ensure that water does not splash on the leaves, water your rose bush from the soil or ground level. Remove diseased leaves and canes. When removing canes cut about 8 inches below the part that is diseased when the weather is dry.

A good solution is to purchased and installed resistance cultivars, rose needs lots of sunlight and well-drained soil so ensure that these requirements are met also. The use of mulch will act as a barrier and will help water from splashing on the plant discouraging spores from spreading.

Chemical Solution

The use of chemicals can also offer some help.

Neem oil will help but before applying read and follow the manufactures label for best use.

Insecticidal soap with a mixture of fungicides has proven to be effective.

Some species of rose bushes

  • French Rose
  • Tea Rose
  • China Rose
  • Hybrid tea rose
  • Cabbage Rose
  • Rosa Peace
  • Julia child rose
  • Burnet Rose

The final word

Rose bushes can really give that WOW to a home garden, these beauties can grow from season to season as you follow the right procedures which will keep them healthy and happy year-round so get a jump start on the season by keeping your rose bush in tip-top shape you will be so happy that you did because with the coming of the spring and the summer months your rose bush will produce beautiful healthy flowers in full bloom.


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About the author

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Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

10 thoughts on “Care For Roses In The Fall”

  1. Roses are the queens of flowers as you’ve said and that has been so for a very long time, as matter of fact, the garden I was able to keep when I rented my first apartment was filled with Roses and I enjoyed keeping it until I moved and got all busy. As you’ve said, it’s really essential to remove spent flowers as it gives it the chance to focus of giving new bloom

    Thanks for sharing these tips, they’ll definitely be of help. I’ll give rose gardening a shot once again and this time, it’ll be with my girls.   

  2. Hi! Among the tools I need to keep my garden there is a rake. I have been reading in your post how important it is to keep our garden clean from debris.

    I love to take care of roses. I sing to them, and the time I spend pruning them is one I really enjoy in the day. These tips have helped me take care of them better. Both I and my roses are grateful.

    • Henry, you have made my day with your kind words so happy to help and it is nice to hear that you sing to your roses also.  Wishing you the best of success with your garden. Have a good day.

  3. Fall is a time of the year that makes me sad. And looking at my roses in the state they naturally go through makes me sad too. But I appreciate these tips you have outlined here. I haven’t been doing most of them. Working with my roses, preparing them, will cheer me up and cheer up my roses too!

    • So sad to hear of your sadness during the fall months but its the cycle of life and before you know it spring will be here again followed by summer which will brighten your day and have your roses blooming so beautifully. Yes caring for roses in the fall will give them a jumpstart for the next growing season. All the best to you and have a good day.

  4. Very well thought out on this! I have to say my favorite are Roses…They are just so beautiful in my front yard.. And I get alot of compliments on them as well..They are so vibrant…Another great article since your last one, this would definitely help someone out if they decided to start gardening themselves especially roses…Great job! 

    • To me, roses are the queen of flowers because of how beautiful and elegant they are. So happy to hear that you are growing them and having much success. Thanks so much for your kind words. All the best to you and have a good day.

  5. Rose is my wife’s favorite and it’s been a must for us to keep roses in our garden, I take my time to take proper care of it but she knows more about flowers than I do and she does much of the care taking. I personally love that matured and beautiful ambiance that it gives and I’ve been keeping the garden since I got married. I’ll share this to her. I use chemicals most time for it’s maintenance and it’s been helpful, I can actually try some of the tips here and I know they’ll be effective. Thanks for this.

    • Garden roses are truly amazing and can really give that wow. Thanks so much for sharing and I am so happy to help. All the best to you and have a good day.


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