Winter-Weather Warning for Roses!

If you live in an area where winter is serious business and temperatures dip below 0 degrees F, your radiant roses could be in big trouble.  So you’ll want to give them a little extra attention before the cold winds blow, especially if they are less hardy varieties.  It’s a good idea to protect hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas, and most English roses. And it’s easy—once the ground has frozen, pile shredded bark, soil, or compost over the base of the stems in an 8- to 12-inch-tall mound. (Remove the mulch in early spring, so new shoots can easily pop up.)

Climbing roses respond well to some winter-weather protection, too. How much they need depends on the climate:

  • In extremely cold regions, remove the plants from their supports and bend them down to the ground (very carefully so as not to break the stems!). Cover the plants with 6 inches of soil, wait until the ground has frozen, and then add enough straw mulch to cover the mound to a depth of about 3 inches.
  • In less frigid regions, pack straw around the canes while they are still attached to the trellis or support. Then wrap burlap around the straw, and hold it securely in place with twine.

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