Frost Damage on Knockout Roses


Knockout roses are generally tougher than other rose varieties grown in the United States, but they are still susceptible to frost damage and must be protected from high winds or freezing temperatures.

Effects of Frost Damage

  • Frost will kill any blossomed roses on a knockout bush. It can also freeze the branches and kill them, requiring the bush to be pruned. If the frost is hard enough, the entire knockout bush can be frozen.

When to Prepare

  • Preparations for frost should begin in the early fall and continue until the last hard frost in late spring. Knockout roses were bred to withstand cold temperatures, but when it gets below freezing they can still be damaged.

Tie the Plant

  • The first step to prevent frost damage in knock out roses is to tie the bush upright. This will prevent cold winds from damaging the bush. Before actually roping the plant, remove any dead foliage, leaves, or branches.


  • Create a mound of soil 6 inches tall around the base of the plant to protect the roots from frost damage. Wrap the mound in newspaper. Staple it so it looks like a collar. Fill the rest of the collar with peat or soil.

Wrap the Knockout Roses

  • Wrap the whole rose bush in burlap. Tie the top and the bottom so frost can't get in. Keep them wrapped through the winter until the last frost is over.

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  • Photo Credit frost image by Stephanie Bandmann from
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