Winter Protection for Roses
I live just north of Manitowoc, WI. I planted several rose bushes this year. The bed is up against the house and faces straight west. It's in an area where the roses receive plenty of sun in the summer and will be exposed to lots of wind in the winter. Should I cover them, not cover them, cut them back, or what for the winter?
Hybrid tea roses will need protection for the winter. Wait until the soil surface freezes to start winter protection. There are many ways to protect roses from our harsh winter conditions. The soil mound method is used successfully by many gardeners. Loosely tie the rose canes or surround the plants with hardware cloth. Mound 8-10 inches of soil over the base of the plant. Once this freezes cover the soil mound and canes with straw, marsh hay or evergreen boughs. Hardy or shrub roses should survive the rigors of Wisconsin winters. You may want to create a windbreak using a discarded Christmas tree. Place one or more of these on the windward side of the roses. The temporary screen will cut the wind and provide shelter for the birds.
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