Winter Protection for Roses is going to add to your gardening workload. All roses need a dormant period to rest and gather their resources for the next season of blooms. Roses thrive in most areas during the spring, summer, and fall, they face the damaging wind and cold during the winter. To keep your roses healthy and looking great year after year, you need to take extra steps to protect them during the winter and besides that, you can also check out my other blog that devotes a number of articles to composting and soil fertilization.
The first step in helping roses survive winter is planting suitable varieties for your area. While hybrid teas are beautiful, they do not do well in cold winter weather. If you live in areas that get cold and have harsh winds, and you have grown roses for a long time, and know what varieties will survive through the winter with minimal damage. If you are new to growing roses, it is time for you to get involved with others in your area that can give you advice, without you having to learn the hard way.
To protect your roses from cold winter weather, you should take steps in the fall to help them go dormant. If they are completely dormant by the time winter weather arrives, they will have a better chance of making it. You should stop fertilizing your bushes sometime around mid-august. Adjust the date depending on how early or late your area freezes.
Once winter arrives, then you can take extra protective steps. In many rose varieties, the damage is not caused by freezing, but by alternating freezing and thawing. Properly winterized roses, once frozen, keep them frozen for the season.
After your area has experienced several hard freezes, you should mound about a foot of compost around the bottom of your rose bush to protect the roots and base. You should then protect the branches by adding another foot of mulch. This will help insulate the bush and keep it from thawing until it is warm enough to be safe. As an alternative, you can wrap the brush in a small fence or bag and fill this with compost and mulch instead. In cold climates, expect that every part of the rose cane that not covered will suffer damage, and will need to be pruned away in the spring.
If you have a climbing rose bushes, remove the canes from the trellises, attach them to the ground, and cover them with layers of dirt and mulch. If you cannot move them to the ground, try to wrap them where they are. It is important for them to be protected from the cold, but also properly bundled so they do not break from wind damage.
Following these precautions during the fall and winter, your roses will thank you with beautiful flowers when spring and summer come around.