Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 4:10 pm

Potted Roses, Staying Dormant w/o Freezing to Death

I live in a condo, and I'd like to prevent the potted roses growing nicely this Chicago summer from freezing to death in a Chicago winter. I'm neither allowed to couple the pots into my condo building (by using soil piled up around the base of the building) nor is my garage suitable because it's too warm.

My main question is: what's a good minimum temperature for potted roses (soil and all)? I want them to stay dormant during the winter without prematurely waking up. Since I'm an electrical engineer, I can rig pipe heating tape around the pots and insulate them for winter to provide a minimum temperature floor. I just need to know the right temperature. Around 33 degrees Farenheit or so would be convenient since pipe heaters already have thermostats that provide that minimum temperature.

Thanks in advance.

The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7491
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

I would defer to Grandpa Rose on this one as he is undoubtedly our hardy rose specialist here...

The pipe tape idea has merit, methinks, but just how warm is that garage? Shame to reinvent the wheel idf you could do it there...


Greener Thumb
Posts: 1651
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:21 pm
Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

The key to keeping your roses dormant is to keep them cold without freezing them! So keeping them one or two degrees above freezing would probably be best. As Helpful Gardner asks, how warm is the garage? It may be okay.
Also, when putting your rose away, prune it down to 12" or so, and lightly water it. Then check it throughout the winter to ensure that it does not get totally dried out, but not too much water. Obviously no fertilizer!
Once the trees that are natural to your area begin to bud for leaves, you should be safe to then place your rose out again on your patio.
What kills roses is the freeze, thaw, then freeze,thaw repetition that winter brings. The key is to keep it at a constant temperature as possible without freezing it.

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