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Winter Care For Roses

February 25, 2009

Any new growth on your rose plants may be damaged during the winter. To discourage growth late in the year, stop fertilizing your roses by the beginning of September. Stop pruning them around this time as well. Pruning the flowers at this time will encourage more flowers to grow. If you leave the flowers intact, the rose plant will believe that the season is over and it will begin to grow its seed pods. These pods will encourage the plant to go dormant for the winter instead of continuing to grow.

Climbing roses are often further prepared for winter by wrapping them in a protective layer to insulate them from cold wind. This may be straw or a fabric covering. Another method is to take the canes down from their support and then to bundle them together and lie them flat on the ground. The canes can be tied together to give them a little extra protection. Use landscaping pins to secure the canes to the ground.

After your area has had its first frost, it can be helpful to freeze the ground around the rose plants to encourage the plants to stay dormant and to take care of themselves. To do this, simply soak the ground around the plants with water.

If you experience harsh winters, you may need to protect your roses from the effects of the elements. The temperature to watch for is generally anything less than about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature in your area doesn’t get colder than this, you will not need to take any special winter precautions. But, for climates that can expect these temperatures in the winter, there are a few steps to take to ensure no damage to the plants.

If the temperature will fall below 20 but will not fall below negative 10 degrees, the care is simple. Rearrange the soil in the garden, or add new soil, and mound this soil up and around the base of your rose plants. A mound that is a few inches tall will adequately protect your roses at these temperatures.

If the temperature in the area can be expected to get below negative 10 degrees, the mound will have to be considerably higher. The mound of soil should be build up to about one foot in height around the canes of your roses. In the midst of the coldest part of the winter, you should also wrap the upper portions of the plants with burlap to keep the cold wind from damaging your roses.

In warm areas that don’t generally freeze during the winter, the winter can be dangerous to roses in another way. The weather may get slightly cooler and wetter during this time. This makes the likelihood of fungal diseases higher during this time. Watch your rose plants more carefully during wet winters to make sure it they not infected with any type of fungus. If they do become infected, any of the standard fungal cures will work just as well in the winter as they do in the summer.

This post is a part of 17 posts about Rose Gardening. If you want to start at the beginning you can click on Caring for Roses

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