Winterizing Roses

Hybrid Teas, Grandiflora, Miniature and Floribunda roses should be protected from winter damage after a killing frost or like a freeze we have had recently.

However, this should be done before the ground freezes. In our region, this freezing usually occurs late November and early December. Furthermore, you can reduce breakage of tall canes by winter winds by cutting them back to 30-36 inches and tying the tips together. Be sure to remove dead and fallen leaves around the plants. Next, hill the soil over the center of the plant in broad round mounds at least 12 inches high and 12 inches wide. Be sure to cover the mound with a mulch of leaves, straw, or other similar material. Another method includes using all mulch such as, wood chips, sawdust, shredded hardwood, or pine bark instead of soil, mounded 15-18 inches. Some gardeners prefer to construct wire mesh cylinders to surround each plant filled with mulch. Some even use special plastic cones placed over the roses which has bottoms cut out or burlap to wrap the plants with. To winterize climbing roses, remove them from their support. Lay them on the ground and cover with 3 to 4 inches of soil. If this can't be done, gather the tips of the stems together, tie them, and wrap in straw with a wrapping of burlap over that. The base of the climber should be covered with 10 inches of soil. When severe winter weather conditions have subsided, which is typically mid-March or early April, remove most of the mulch and soil from around the base of the plants. You can leave a 2 inch layer of mulch in the bed. Its best to take care of your roses now rather than chance any winter injury only to show up next summer.

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