The Q&A Archives: Successful Winterizing of Smooth Lady Thornless Hybrid Tea Rose in Zone 5

Question: I just purchased 3 of Monrovia's Smooth Lady Thornless Hybrid Tea Roses and want to make sure that I will be winterizing them correctly. The plant information tag states that this rose is hardy in zones 3-5 with protection. I currently have 3-4 inches of mulch in my beds and planted the crown slightly below ground level. Is this sufficient or do you recommend additional protection (more mulch, rose cones/covers etc.) Thank you in advance for your help!

Answer: Just to make sure - All you need is some soil and mulch to completely protect your new rose. Basically, just shovel some soil into a mound at the base of the plant, the soil should go up about 12" above the bud union (looks kind of like a knob or a knuckle, this is where the rose was grafted to the rootstock in the beginning of it's life). Then, cover the mound of soil with about 12" of mulch. I use cypress mulch but you could also use compost or straw. This volcano like structure you have made keeps the ground frozen, and strangely enough, that is exactly what you want. If the rose is subjected to freezing and thawing, damage is sure to result. Many people wrap this mound with chicken wire to keep it intact over the winter. I've never done this, but if it makes you feel more comfortable, or, if your rose is in a spot where there is a great deal of wind or animals may dig at it, you should probably add this step.

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