Winter cover for my roses - Knowledgebase Question

Southington, Co
Question by vernadm
October 14, 2009
I have 1st yr roses that are good size & have blossemed beautifully this year. So this is my first winter caring for the plants. What recommendations do you have for protecting them during the winter? I live in CT. Do I need to protect them with burlap? Any help is greatly are appreciated!!! Thank you.

Answer from NGA
October 14, 2009


The answer to your question depends on what kinds of roses you are growing. If your roses are on their own root stock, they should be fine. Even if they die down to ground level they will regrow in the spring without any special protection. If you have grafted hybrid tea roses, they should be planted so that the graft union is several inches underground. This is done to protect the graft from extreme cold as well as from oscillating temperatures. You can cut back the longest canes partway so they are less likely to whip about in the wind. (Additional pruning is typically done in the spring.) Then pile a cone of garden soil over the base of each plant, make it about a foot tall. Also mulch over the surrounding root zone with about six inches of organic mulch. Do this in late fall -- November or December when the plants have stopped growing and the ground is frozen. In the early spring, begin gradually removing the soil from the base of each plant. This will allow it to wake up naturally with the season. You can then trim off any winter damaged canes, cutting back to live wood, and then pruning for shape or to thin out the oldest canes. You might want to contact your local consulting rosarian or local chapter of the American Rose Society for more detailed assistance. There is ample rose care information as well as contact information at the following web page. Your local county extension may also be able to assist you. It would be helpful if you can tell them which particular roses you planted. Good luck with your roses!

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