Winterizing Roses - Knowledgebase Question

Middlebury, IN
Question by crlund
September 22, 1999
We planted a Peace rose this past spring, and it has done remarkably well and has bloomed continuously. What preparations should we do for winter? The plant is approximately 3 feet tall.

Thank-you for your help!


Image
Answer from NGA
September 22, 1999

0

Mainly, that is why I prefer this method. In the past when I cut back the hybrid teas hard in the fall prior to winter protection, they sometimes put out a flush of new growth if the we had a period of warm weather. You should do what works best for you.

Next comes the actual protection. There are many fancy, schmancy contraptions on the market that you can buy to wrap around your rose. I'm way too cheap for that. All you need is some soil and mulch. 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.

That wasn't so hard now was it? All that anxiety for nothing. Your rose gardening is finished until the spring, or at least until you see the forsythias in bloom, and what a relief that is!"
Mainly, that is why I prefer this method. In the past when I cut back the hybrid teas hard in the fall prior to winter protection, they sometimes put out a flush of new growth if the we had a period of warm weather. You should do what works best for you.

Next comes the actual protection. There are many fancy, schmancy contraptions on the market that you can buy to wrap around your rose. I'm way too cheap for that. All you need is some soil and mulch. 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.

That wasn't so hard now was it? All that anxiety for nothing. Your rose gardening is finished until the spring, or at least until you see the forsythias in bloom, and what a relief that is!"

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