Winter Protect Your Roses Now
Roses are an expensive asset to our landscaping, so gardeners need to take a few precautions to protect this valuable asset. With these four easy steps you can be assured of a bounteous display of blooms come spring.
It is best to continue monitoring the amount of moisture that Mother Nature provides from now through just before the soil is frozen.
Before the soil is likely to stay frozen, you should thoroughly soak the soil so that the roots are well hydrated for the coming colder weather.
By mid-September, in the colder zones, you should stop the roses from re-blooming by not removing spent blooms. Roses need to store their energy for another season.
So around mid-late September, for repeat-flowering roses, you should start sending messages to the rose bushes, telling them to stop their reproduction efforts and to conserve energy in order to survive the coming winter and bloom again next season.
From mid-October onward until you are ready to take the final steps in winter protection, clean all debris such as old mulch, fallen leaves and flower petals, from the rose beds.
Trash all debris away from the rose beds in garbage cans to minimize disease carryover into next season.
Remove debris on a weekly basis as it accumulates, if not pulled off.
Veterans Day week in the US (late November), is a good target date for finishing pulling petals (not deadheading) and removing foliage from the rose bushes.
4. Apply a winter mulch to mound about 6 inches, or higher, over the bud union of all the modern type full size roses, and lesser amount on miniature roses.
This is also a good time to consider spraying with Dormant Oil Spray to kill any fungus spores and prevent any insect eggs from overwintering.
Wrap all canes of climbers and cold tender roses such as hybrid teas in several layers of burlap or a horticultural fleece material, and tie with rope to secure it. That's all there is to it for fall rose care.
If you live in a warmer climate follow these steps
2. Add nutrients around the outer base of rose. Use one cup per plant of bone meal or any other natural rose/plant food and one cup of Epsom salt.
3. Water well to soak nutrients in then reduce watering during the cooler winter months.
4. Add mulch around the outer base of plant up to six inches.