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Roses | Winterizing Roses

by dig the dirt editor

Winterizing roses- Your roses may have to be protected in the winter if the temperatures drop significantly. Below you will find all of the steps you need to take to make sure your roses come back in full bloom!

 

 

The amount of protection a rose needs depends on the climate:

  • Roses grown in USDA Zones 8 to 10 need no special precautions
  • Roses in Zones 6 and 7 will most likely require covering and those in 5 and below most surely will.
  • If your temperatures stay below 20 degrees Fahrenheit for long periods of time without a predictable snow blanket to shield plants, you must winterize your roses.
  • If the ground freezes solid for most of the winter and temperatures are likely to drop below 10 degrees, again without consistent snow cover your roses will need covering.
  • If very low temperatures are infrequent and heavy rains keep the ground wet, the bushes are better left uncovered, as wetness encourages fungus diseases and other ills.

Rose_1.detail

THE WAY TO DO IT:

  • The easiest way to protect roses is to mound up dirt around the base of the bush.
  •  This process is known as hilling and is done just before the ground is likely to freeze solid.
  • The hill should reach a height of six or eight inches if you are in a moderate zone, but at least 12 inches in colder areas (Zones 6 and colder)
  • This conducts heat up from the ground to the crown and lower reaches of the bush; if that much of the bush survives the winter, the rest, even if blackened, can be pruned away in the spring and the bush will swiftly put out new growth to replace it.

START PROTECTING THEM IN THE SUMMER:

  • As with most plants, the best guarantee of a rosebush’s survival through the winter is good care from pests in the summer.
  • A vigorous bush will withstand cold’s rigors far more readily than a weakened one.
  • So not over stimulate your roses as autumn approaches.  You do not was new growth that will not be tough enough. Be sure to stop fertilizing by the end of the summer.

 

 

STEP 1: PRUNE BACK

  • A couple of weeks after the first frost in your area, but before deep freezing sets in, prune your rosebushes roughly to eliminate any dead or weak shoots or any that show signs of disease.
  • Trim long canes by half and shorter ones by about a third.
  • The aim is to reduce each bush’s overall bulk so that it can be most efficiently protected. Don’t worry about such fine points as the location of buds; that can be addressed in the spring when you do precise pruning.
  • To help keep your bushes from drying out in the winter wind spray them with an antidesiccant not long after you have pruned them. By sealing in moisture, the antidesiccant minimizes the damage that can come from cycles of freezing, thawing, and refreezing in midwinter.

Rose_2.detail

 


STEP 2: BRING DIRT FROM ELSEWHERE

  • In late November or early December, or whenever you sense that the ground is about to freeze, bring dirt from elsewhere in the garden and pile it around the base of your plants to the desired height.
  • Lean, sandy soil is better than a humusy mix.
  • Do not obtain it from between the plants, as that risks exposing roots and crowns to freezing and so defeats the purpose of hilling.
  • Pat the mound firmly to make sure it encloses the canes snugly.

Rose_3.detail

 

 

STEP 3: ADD A MULCH

  • Especially if you are in one of the colder zones, you will want to add some kind of mulch—salt hay, bark chips, pine needles, leaves—as extra protection, holding it in place perhaps with evergreen boughs or other branches.
  • The mulch further minimizes the possible damage that can come from abrupt temperature swings in midwinter.

Rose4.detail

 


STEP 4: BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT REMOVAL

  • In the spring, wait until the ground has thawed for good before removing the dirt.
  • Remove it so that new growth is not damaged.
  • Be sure to keep some extra mulch on hand to pile temporarily around the base of your plants in the event of a sudden late frost.

Rose5.detail

 

Tags

winterizing roses, protecting roses in winter

comments

Thanks for this tip! Cold weather has hit and my roses have quit blooming now. <br/>They took off and grew 2 ft in August and September and bloomed big time. They have never shot up like that before. Thanks again.
Sprite
MRS.D commented on 11/21/11

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