Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fall Rose Care

Roses vary in hardiness, but all roses need some attention going into winter. This is because our winter temperatures can fluctuate widely and moisture levels will vary from month to month. Begin by cutting canes back about 1/3rd, to about 24" to 30". This is not an exact measurement, but it’s important to cut canes now to prevent damage from winter winds. Prune to the outward bud, so that future growth is toward the outside, away from the center of the bush. Don’t prune climbing roses at this time. Secure the canes to the trellis and spray with Wilt-Pruf® to prevent the winter winds from drying out and damaging the canes.

Remove any spent flowers or rose hips at this time. Clean up fallen leaves and petals from around the rose bush, to prevent black spot and other diseases from wintering over. Dusting the area with Sulfur will also help control disease and insects trying to winter over. Grafted roses need mulch to protect the graft bud from injury during the winter.
Own-root roses are typically better at surviving winters than grafted roses. What’s an own-root rose? These are roses that grow on their own roots, often Heritage or Old Garden Roses. Grafted roses have a bud or swelling just above the roots, where two different roses have been joined together. Grafted or own-root, all roses will benefit from mounding mulch up around the canes. This will serve to keep the ground stable and to prevent damage to the rose as the ground freezes and thaws during the course of the winter. This will also help retain moisture.
Soil Pep makes an excellent mulch for roses, as well as other perennials. It stays in place well and breaks down slowly, gradually improving the soil.
Adding Rose Collars will help keep the mulch in place through the winter. Water your roses (and other shrubs, trees, perennials) during the course of the winter. Pick a day when the temperature is above 40
°. Water around mid-day and confine your watering to the base of the rose. You want to get water to the roots, not the top of the rose. As always, you are welcome to bring your gardening questions or concerns to the Diagnostic Center in the Hardgoods section of the store.   


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