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Winter Protection for Roses

Help your roses through the winter and be rewarded with beautiful blooms next season.

Allow your shrub roses to stand for winter.  These hardy rose plants provide rose hips for the birds to eat and you to enjoy.  Plus, leaving them stand for winter increases their hardiness.  Wait until spring to do any needed pruning.

Start protecting grafted hybrid tea roses after a week of freezing temperatures.  Then select a method that fits into your landscaping style.  Many gardeners use the soil mound method.  Contain the mulch and keep out the animals with a cylinder of hardware cloth.  Then mound 8 to 10 inches of soil over the base of the plants.  Once this freezes cover the mound and the plant with evergreen boughs or weed-free straw.

Again, wait until late winter or early spring before growth begins to prune your roses. 

Leave climbing roses intact for winter, so they will bloom next season.  Either wrap or bury the canes to protect them from winter damage

A bit more information:  Many gardeners have success with the Leaf Mulch method for overwintering small plantings or individual rose beds.  Surround your planting bed with animal fencing or hardware cloth at least 4 feet high and sunk several inches into the ground.  Once the ground freezes, prune roses back to 3 feet tall.  Then fill the fenced in area with dry fall leaves.  Pack the leave in tight to prevent water from penetrating the pile.  Wet leaves make poor insulators.  Fill the fenced in area until the roses are completely covered.  Remove the leaves in spring and use them for garden mulch or in your compost pile.

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