We have 2 knock out roses in containers and winter is approaching (northeast Illinois, west of Chicago). Should we move the containers into the garage or leave them out? Should we water the roses during the winter particularly if they are in the garage)? I plan on trimming them back in the spring but is there anything else I need to do? Thank you.
Knock Out Roses
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
I would move them into the garage and place them up on some wooden blocks and not directly upon the concrete floor once they have gotten bitten by a cold night or two. They need that cold bite to give them the message that it is time for their winters nap. Then move them into the garage and yes keep an eye on the soils moisture. I use a moisture meter to check the soils at least once a week. When they do need water, just water them light so that the moisture meter shows the soils to be moist but not wet. We do not want them getting too wet and thinking it is time to grow again too soon. In the spring, wait until the rosebushes start to form leaf buds and then do just a shaping pruning and pruning out what is truly dead canes or broken canes.