over wintering container minis

theosof(SE.PA)August 27, 2006

Hi All...It is getting close to that time of year to bed down our plants. I have 2 minis that I just got this year, both in pots- both are very small- one is a bush type the other is a hanging type. Should I cut them back for the winter? Do I keep them outside or bring them inside? I live in Zone 6- our winters vary from year to year- we can be mild with little snow or we can below zero with blizzards.Thanks for your help...

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diane_nj 6b/7a

Don't cut them now. I usually leave my potted plants outside. However, if they are new own-roots (minis, whatever), and they haven't been especially vigorous OR I received them late in the season, then I will first move them onto the porch where I can keep an eye on them, and if the temps head below freezing for any amount of time, then I'll put them into the (unheated, but attached to the house) garage and leave them there until April. If you take them into the garage, then check on them to make sure the soil doesn't dry out. Dehydration is the real killer. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 11:08AM
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coloradobird

You could bury the pots in the ground outside--that would provide the insulation you need. I don't think they would do too well indoors, but if you don't want to put them in the ground, then you'll have to bring them in. Maybe a real sunny south-facing window? I have the impression that most people who grow roses inside use lights. If your garage is unheated, you could do as Diane does, but if not, it probably wouldn't be healthy for them to be in a dark heated place all winter. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 5:02PM
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kathya11(8b/9a)

Last year was the first time I grew my minis almost exclusively in pots, as opposed to planting them in the ground (I converted my mini bed to a HT bed). Since we don't have a garage, I trimmed them back slightly in November, moved them to the bed alongside the foundation of the house in the back yard (in the spring, this bed is full of tulips and daffs; in the summer, it's a pot garden full of impatiens), then mulched them well after they went dormant. I moved them out into the yard proper when the bulbs started growing, and I didn't lose a single plant.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 6:17PM
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jpw_chi(5b Chicago, IL)

All of my roses are in containers on the roofdeck for the summer, then most get donated to charity for the winter.

I tried wintering them over in pots outside (Zone 5b), but the pots weren't big enough to have generate thermal mass to keep the roots from freezing. Unlike being planted in the ground, the cold can get at the roots from the sides and bottom too. I had 100% kill-off. I'm trying half a dozen or so again this year, but this time I'm using pots suitable for trees. (fingers crossed)

I also tried last year to keep four favorite mini-roses in the house over the winter. Much as I liked the roses, it just wasn't worth the effort. They had spider mites, rust, blackspot and powdery mildew in succession. Getting rid of most of one problem seemed to cause the other pests and diseases to rebound. I also didn't like the amount of pesticide that I needed to use indoors (even if it was made for houseplants) order to keep any leaves on them at all. Three of the four survived, but it wasn't until mid-summer until those bushes were really back on their feet.

On the other hand, I've donated several dozen roses to a local park over the past two years. So far the survival rate has been 43 roses surviving to (maybe) one casualty -- even after a summer of being completely neglected.

So, in my experience, your best bet is to find a place to plant them (still in the pot or not) in the ground for winter and mulch them.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 11:09AM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

More info at this link, Overwintering Potted Minis Advice needed, especially Tenor_Peggy's advice.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 11:32AM
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