How to protect my rooted cuttings over winter

olivia23December 2, 2008

I have about 5 rose cuttings that have successfully rooted. I have them in a clear container with a lid. I was setting them outside with the lid off and they were doing great, but now it's really to cold to do that. I've been trying to set them outside with the lid on so they can get some light, but they are getting blackspot. I don't know what to do with them.

Some people have suggested that I keep them in a garage, but I don't know what they mean. Should they still get direct light? I don't have any sort of setup like that, and my garage windows do not receive direct sunlight. Please help! I don't want to lose my cuttings!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

At this point, the most practical way of dealing with them is probably to spend the big bucks and buy a shoplight. A few years ago, the big boxes would have them for about $15 including the bulbs. In zone 7, the garage is probably a good place for the setup. The roses should be arranged under the light, with the bulbs just above the top of the roses. As the roses grow, either the light goes up or the roses go down.

The usual way to keep roses in the garage is to let them go dormant, and put them inside to keep them above killing cold temperatures. That's going to be hard to do in zone 7. Larger roses could theoretically spend the winter outside next to the house. Babies are going to need somewhat different handling.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 12:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
niptrixbop(z5 OH)


I am in zone 5 and have kept rooted rose cuttings over winter several times in individual small pots. Here is what I have done and recommend:

1. I kept cuttings on the window sill of a south-facing window.
2. Do not over-water them--let the soil dry enough between watering and use a very weak fertilizer solution.
3. Spray cuttings before bringing them in to kill any insects--Watch out for spider mites.

I never used any special light set up, and a few of the cuttings have bloomed during the winter. Once weather warms, bring them out and keep them in the shade to protect the leaves from being sunburned. After a while, you can bring them out to the sunlight and plant them.

I hope this is of help, again, this worked for me in zone 5.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 11:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
token28001(zone7b NC)

I'm in zone 7. I started rooting cuttings of a couple roses in August. Once I potted them in October, I put them outside in a semi-sunny spot. They get about 1 hour of direct sun per day. They're still alive and have put out a couple new, tiny leaves. The roots have grown a lot though. Next week, I'm going to move them into a vented cold frame until late April.

I've got the pots covered and surrounded by leaves and protect them from winds. They've been frosted on many times and are still doing well. I think it depends on what variety of rose. I can't say which one mine are because it's illegal to propagate knockouts. ;)

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 3:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For the past five years or so I have left my rooted cuttings outside all winter. We've had mild winters but temps down to 23 degrees haven't seemed to damage any this year. I will get very nervous if it gets colder than that. I do lose maybe 15 % of them during the winter. I have tiny babies still not potted up left outside all winter. I have a few flats of new varieties I especially don't want to lose and I bring them in and out of the house when it's very cold. When I left cuttings inside all winter they all died from spider mites.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 7:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you all so much for your help. When you say you left yours out all winter, did you have thembin pots? I may try that because even though I would love to try the shop light thing, it sounds expensive. Even if the light may not be much, how do you hang it? I'm afraid hubby would not agree to that.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 11:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Shop lights are cheap, and I use the Grolux bulbs, around $7 each, if I remember correctly. You just attach a couple of small chains from the Hardware store and attach them to the top of the light (there are holes in the frame) and then suspend them from the ceiling. I already had all these hooks in my garage ceiling from the previous owners, who had used them for storage. They came in very handy. So far, I have not had a problem with spider mites, since my garage is unheated.


    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 10:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bloomorelse(Z4b NB Canada)

Judith, does the temperature in your unheated garage not get below freezing? I have some rose cuttings inside under light, and having a problem with spider mites. I'm pretty sure the temp in my unheated garage would get below freezing. Would this kill them? Would they be ok to let go dormant, and not put under light? The garage would have some daylight, but no direct light. or....
could I put them in my cold room in the basement (tiny space under the hollow cement stairs, where I keep veggies, to go dormant (completely dark)and just above freezing? What's my best option.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 7:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bloomorelse, mine is an attached, unheated garage, which makes a big difference. Usually during the coldest part of winter, it fluctuates between 33 and 36 degrees. It has never dropped below freezing. (I do keep a Hi-low thermometer in there.) I think potted roses are fine down to 25 degrees or so, but I don't know about cuttings, since they are so small. Maybe someone with more experience can answer that.
A friend of mine always keeps her cuttings dormant in an old fridge over winter, so your cold room would probably work fine. Good luck, with whatever you choose.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 11:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, my cuttings are in small pots, about the size of bands and I leave most of them outside all winter. The soil in the pots does freeze and thaw, but most of them do ok with that. Again, we've had mild winters since I've been doing this. Tonight it'll get down to about 20 so I am concerned.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 1:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
token28001(zone7b NC)

Erasmus, It was 22 when I woke up this morning. I had several things I was worried about this morning. There are 4 rooted roses in the yard right now. They're in small 4" pots. None seem to have been bothered by the cold. With all the wind, we didn't get a frost in my yard. We'll see how they do the rest of the week, but I'm not really having any trouble with them outside.

The most important thing is to make sure they're well rooted before sticking them outdoors. A couple of 1" roots won't be enough. That's how I lose things that I've rooted. I get too ambitious and plant out too early.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 9:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bloomorelse - just checked my garage temps, and even though it is about 2 degrees F outside, it's 51 degrees in there.(It is attached on three sides, so obviously, that helps a lot!) There is a ways to go before there is any cold danger to my cuttings. Have you decided yet what you are going to do with yours?

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 3:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The temps under the lights is alot warmer than the actual room temps. I have my cuttings in a room that gets to about 64 degrees and no higher, but right under the lights where the plants are it is like 76 degrees.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 6:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Now you've got me wondering - I am going to put my thermometer under the lights and see what temps I come up with.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 11:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
token28001(zone7b NC)

If you can toss a blanket over your rack, it'll get even warmer. Those shop light ballasts put of a small amount of heat. Mine averages about 5 degrees above the temperature in the room.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 11:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

I used to use the ballasts as heat mats for seedlings. I still do if I'm only starting a couple of containers.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 2:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yep, you're right, about 5 degrees higher under the lights.
Mad Gallica, I used to put my containers of seedlings on the top of the lights too, when I had a table-top set in the basement. That set has since bit the dust. Now I just start them in a west window, and move them to the garage lights when they germinate.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 4:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greybird(z7 TX)


What I do with my rooting cuttings is set them out in the sunshine during the day, on the southside, protected from the north and west winds. No cover is needed. If is going to be freezing or below, just put them into an unheated garage or storeroom. During the winter, I have to bring them in most nights. The sunlight they receive when they are placed outside during the day is quite adequate.
Spider mites will plague you if you keep them inside all winter. And the growlights are very expensive to buy and to run.
This works well for me, I am currently moving 200-250 plant bands in and out. I lose maybe 5% of the very small ones to fungus. But they are strong and acclimated, not puny from being inside.
Good luck!!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 6:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just posted this on another thread, but it may help you, too: if you will follow the link below and scroll to the pictures posted by Hartwood, that is what my rooting pots look like, but I can put perennials outside on the south side during winter if I can get them rooted before freeze. I bed them - with pots and domes and a little extra mulch built up on the sides of the domes - on the south side of the house. They get direct sunlight and no fungus. If temps threaten to drop below 10F, I will put a black pot on top until the frigid weather is past, and when the temps start to get above 80F, I'll take the domes off so the foliage won't bake. The plants need water when there is no condensation on the inside of the dome.

Good luck,

Here is a link that might be useful: Hartwood posting

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 7:53PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Need advice on prepping rootstock...
I am just beginning to try rooting some DR HUEY for...
First time hybridizing -- Have a specific goal. Need advice
Hello, everyone! I have been thinking of trying my...
Don't give up on your rooted cuttings too soon
I received this rooted cutting in a trade last summer,...
Looking every where for a Moon Shadow Rose
Okay, I have searched and researched the internet for...
How to start rugosa rose seeds?
I received some of these in a trade. I cold stratted...
Sponsored Products
Herman Miller | Ward Bennett I-Beam Coffee Table
Ellsworth Spindle-Back Chair - PURPLE
$1,799.00 | Horchow
Hinkley Lighting | Meridian 5593 Bath Bar
$209.00 | YLighting
The Standard Black Metro 8-Inch Porch Light with Opal Globe Glass
$34.01 | Bellacor
CS007 LED Channel System
King Kooker 160-qt Aluminum Boiling Pot with Steam Basket and Lid
Gray Leatherette Sled Lounge
| Dot & Bo
Chocolate verde magnolia wreath
Origin Crafts
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™