As much as I want to get everything covered in October, I have to wait until around Thanksgiving to finish up. That is when I usually winterize my roses. Well, most of them. Some I leave to the whim of Mother Nature.
Different types of roses require different techniques for winterizing.
My Sven and Ole roses were developed in Minnesota and are supposed to take the harsh winters we have. Sven has survived a couple of winters although I think he gets some shelter from the spruce tree.
Ole will be open to the elements, so we will test his stamina, ya-der-hay.
The Knock Out rose should be pretty hardy, too. I put some mulch on it last year and it came through fine. I will probably do the same, but with straw this year, since I have some extra from the garlic-covering activity. I do not trim the roses back in the fall. You can wrap the rose with burlap and tie it securely with some rope. I haven’t done that, but I might with my non-hardy ones. I haven’t decided yet.
Hybrid teas, grandiflora and floribunda roses are barely hardy here so they need a lot of protection. The best way to do that is to start by removing all fallen foliage and debris. This removes any diseases that may be harbored in the debris. Next mound soil over the base of each plant, loosely tie the canes together with twine.
That keeps them from being whipped by strong winds. Although, I did this last year with my Strike it Rick rose and the twine had been cut by one of the thorns in a couple of weeks. This year I will use more twine… or use the burlap trick from the previous paragraph. When the stems are under control, pile about 10 to 12 inches of soil at the base of the rose bush. Don’t just dig around the existing plant…that will just uncover some of the roots which will then freeze. Use soil from another area of the garden (like my vegetable bed) or use bagged dirt. Then add a layer of mulch such as straw or leaves.
You can end it with another layer of soil to keep the mulch in place or cover with burlap held down by something heavy. We have a bunch of bricks that we are using. You can also use a chicken wire fence around each rose bush to help keep the soil and mulch in place. The best time to do all of this is after the plants have been hardened off by several nights of temperatures in the low to mid-twenties. That tends to be around Thanksgiving.
Now, climbing roses are harder to deal with because they are much larger. If the rose is tied to a wall, trellis or fence, untie the canes and wrap them in insulating material, like you would wrap pipes to keep them from freezing. Burlap would be fine. Retie the canes to the wall, trellis or fence. If the canes need to be cut back, go ahead and do it, but you want to limit trimming before winter. Add soil and mulch to the base of the plant like you would for the floribunda. If you don’t want to do this method, you can detach the canes from the trellis and lay the whole plant down on its side on the ground.
Stake it in place and cover the whole thing with a foot or so of soil and mulch. Then when the weather warms up in the spring, you can gently remove the soil and mulch and retie the rose to the structure it came off of.
Our miniature rose will be covered with soil and mulch.
I don’t have any tree roses and it is pretty much for one reason only. Winterizing. Once I plant a rose, I don’t want to do anything more than to cover them up for the winter. Tree roses need to be dug up and stored for the winter in a cool garage or basement. You can also bury it similar to the canes of the climbing rose, but I would be afraid of hurting the roots. Although, my local nursery’s rose lady tells me that she buries hers every year and they come back. Maybe one of these years, I’ll try it. A tree rose would certainly look good in the middle of my “rose bed”.
Posted under Autumn
This post was written by Eileen Loan on November 18, 2010