Do you have questions about how best to protect your roses for the Winter? We suggest a few basic, easy to follow steps to help yours make it through the tough Winter months.
- Water well. A well hydrated plant can survive winter better than one that is dry and stressed.
- Put a couple of shovelfulls of compost over the crown of the rose plant.
- Give your rose some non-nitrogen fertilizer. Late fall, after a hard freeze, is a good time to give your rose a dose of Epsom salts (about 1/2 cup per plant), along with rock phosphate (don’t use bonemeal — it attracts rodents) and maybe a little potash. These fertilizers won’t promote new growth on the canes, which can be hurt by frosts and winter. Instead, they will help promote root growth, which can continue well into December if the ground is mulched. And, they’ll have a chance to work into the soil through freeze/thaw actions and be ready for your plants to use in the spring.
We suggest that you trim them in the Fall, so that the wind doesn’t cause them to rock, which can be detrimental to the health of your plant. When they are dormant, in the late Winter/early Spring hard prune your roses. Roses are shrubs that benefit from a hard pruning. The pruning causes the plants to sprout new, healthy growth. Many roses only bloom on new wood, hybrid teas included. For luscious flowers during the summer, make some time for pruning rose bushes. After all, it seems that many of us are happiest when we are working in our gardens, so why not incorporate some Winter gardening as well.