Monday, May 11, 2009

What is the best way to prepare my rose bush for winter.?

I live in PA and the cold is really starting to roar in. We just planted a beautiful rose bush in our yard this past summer and i am unsure how to winterize %26lt;spelling%26gt; it so it doesn't die.

thank you for your help!

What is the best way to prepare my rose bush for winter.?
cut your bushes 3/4 of the way down and cover with mulch or grass and leaves. make sure all of the remainder of the plant is completely covered. that's it!
Reply:I assume that this is a hybrid-tea type, which requires care over winter in cold areas. The first year, the plant is acclimatizing itself to your area. Many plants that are winter-hardy may indeed have been grown by a nursery in warm places, such as British Columbia, so even though the plant species is winter-hardy per se, if it is accustomed to a warmer climate, it must be acclimatized to a cold one. This is why it is a good idea to buy locally grown nursery stock, as it is already geared to the rigours of a local climate. I like to be aware of a plant's growing history, as I am in Canada, and a warmer-climate-grown plant could be winter-killed. So protect your rose as much as possible. This is accomplished by first planting it with the graft union below ground, since the cold can kill this if above ground. If you don't already know, the graft union/knob is the place where the tender hybrid scion is married to the more resistant and hardy rootstock of another variety of rose. You will periodically see shoots of the unwanted growth of the rootstock, which will probably produce inferior flowers if allowed to mature, and it will take over the growth of the wanted scion. So nip off the former, with a good pair of bypass rose pruners. This unwanted growth is usually but not always identified by the appearance of 7 leaves or more, in a different type of leave production. As you become more adept at rose growing, you will be able to tell the difference, which will radiate from below the graft union. In warm climates, the union is planted slightly above ground level. It is already planted, so hopefully this has been done. Remove unwanted growth, which includes diseased, infested and crossing-over branches; most people leave 3 to 5 healthy canes. Don't do this prior to regular cold weather, as a sudden period of warmer weather will cause a just-pruned plant to produce new growth which will winter-kill and stress the plant. Always cut to an outward-facing bud, since this aims new growth away from the middle of the plant. You don't want middle growth as the air should flow through it to keep it drier and less prone to fungal disease, and increase sun exposure. Prune above the wanted bud by about a quarter inch on a 45-degree angle to shed water, or it will pool on a straight cut and facilitate disease and possible rot. If unsure about weather conditions, this can be done in spring prior to bud break. Add soil around the plant and gather into a cone shape, so that just the tops of the canes show through. A normal height for pruning hybrid-tea canes is 12-18 inches. This soil mounding prevents dessication from cold wind, and acts as a semi-permanent mulch. Don't scrape up existing soil, as surface roots will be scraped or compromised by increased exposure to cold. When there is snow, it acts as a natural insulation, so leave it. When planting, you should have amended the soil with bone meal and peat moss. Peat moss has almost no nutrient value, but acts as a soil texture amendment and acidifier; bone meal is the actual bones of slaughtered animals, which is high in phosphorus, necessary for bloom. Though natural products, don't breathe them in. In spring, remove the bulk of soil with gloved hands; get out the hose and leave the nozzle off, allowing the natural water current to wash away the remainder. Don't dig too close to the plant or you will risk damaging canes. Add bone meal around drip line of plant (the farthest parts surrounding a tree or plant, where rain would drip off it, working your way in), and gently work into the soil. Prune any winter-killed growth as mentioned, or do the initial pruning if not done prior. For optimum growth, roses need 4 to 6 hours of sun, preferably from a southern exposure. Good luck. For further help, I can be contacted through the Yahoo response method.
Reply:Hi there, Stop feeding and pruning your roses around the end of August, to discourage tender, new growth that will suffer from winter damage.

After the first frost, thoroughly water the soil around your rose bush. Once the ground freezes the bush has to take care of itself, so give it a good soaking going into winter.

Remove all fallen leaves to prevent diseases and insects from overwintering.

After a couple of hard freezes, mound 6-12 inches of compost around the crown of the plant, to protect the roots and the graft union where the rose species you are growing is attached to a hardy root stock. The graft should be at or just below the soil surface. In a mild winter, you could also circle the rose with wire and stuff this cage with leaves or mulch.

Climbing roses are at risk from strong, drying winds. To protect the canes of canes of climbers, either wrap the canes together bundling something like straw on the outside for insulation or remove the canes from their trellis or support and lay them on the ground. Then tie the canes together and secure them to the ground with landscape pins. Protect with a layer of mulch.

Mounding with leaves or a shredded mulch should suffice.

freezing temperatures, watch for fungal diseases that can creep in with the cooler, wet weather.

Don't try to use the soil around the rose bush as mulch. Moving it could expose or disturb the roots.Don't forget to remove protective mulch in the spring.

Good luck :)
Reply:prune the crap out of it
Reply:Trim it back and put mulch at the base. This should work.


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