How to winterize container roses

Q: I am in zone 7. For the first time I have roses in large plastic containers—”Just Joey” and “Moondance.” What is the best way to winterize them?

I’m having fun picking rose hips from my current season’s crosses now. “Just Joey” is a very tender rose at best and so will need to be well protected in zone 7. The larger the container, the better any plant does over winter.

The time of the freeze, the length of it and the wind are also important factors. A rose can take a few degrees of frost without any problems in large pots. My experience is that once we have a chilling period of around -10°C (14°F) for any length of time, you will suffer losses of unprotected container roses.

Move the pots to a protected site out of the heavy winds and rain if possible. Dig them into the ground if you can, or bury them in some type of mulch. They would do fine in a cold-storage shed and would just need to be watered if the soil becomes very dry.