The last thing you might be thinking about this winter is your rose garden. However these beautiful delicate flowers need special preparation to last through the harsh winter season. Let’s look at some ideas to protect your rose garden from cold temperatures, frost, snow and wind.
A healthy rose bush has a better chance of making it through the winter than a weak one. But by not fertilizing your rose bush and gradually reducing water in the fall, you will help the bushes “harden off” and prepare for winter. You can shorten long canes and trim branches but for the most part pruning is not necessary in the fall.
If you plan to keep your bush in the ground you can use leaves and mulch to protect the plant. First you need to remove all the old mulch from under the bushes to get rid of bugs and decay. Right before the first frost of the season put new mulch around the base of the rose bushes. You might wonder: how much mulch do I need? That’s going to depend on how many bushes you have but you’ll need enough to eventually cover the entire plant. Every time the ground freezes you need to add more mulch to build it up and protect the plant. When the bush is almost completely covered you can wrap several layers of burlap or metal around the mulch for ultimate protection against the cold and to secure the wood chips from blowing away.
Mulch should be removed in the spring, around early April. If you live in an area where a cold front can come out of nowhere, you’ll need to temporarily cover the rose bush.
Certain types of rose bushes need more protection than others like “tree” roses, climbers and hybrid teas but all roses can benefit from winter protection.
image by Life123