Friday, October 28, 2016

The Rosy Bedtime Ritual

Just like small children, the roses in your yard appreciate a little extra attention before they go to sleep.

If you live where winter temperatures dip below 0°F, it’s a good idea to protect hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas, and most English roses. 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 emerge.

Climbing roses respond well to additional winter protection. How much protection depends on the climate:
  • In extremely cold regions and for marginal varieties, 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 and for hardier climbing types, 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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