Roses grown in
our area should be winter hardy to at least USDA Zone 5.
Gardeners in urban areas can often get away with Zone 6 or even Zone
7 plants (think City of Pittsburgh), but resign yourself to the fact
that they could be lost if we experienced an abnormally cold winter.
It helps all
plants survive winter better if they are completely dormant when
severe cold arrives. Avoid fertilizing roses after mid-August
to avoid pushing new growth that may not harden off soon enough.
Tender growth is more likely to be damaged by a sudden drop in
temperature than mature growth. Quit deadheading (removing spent
flowers) or pruning in any way after mid-September for the same
healthy roses are in much better shape to survive cold winters.
Protect them from insect and disease problems and apply additional
water during hot, dry summer weather. Severe cold can be the last
straw for roses stressed by these factors.
WINTER ROSE PREPARATION
roses are dormant and have dropped most of their leaves before
cutting them back or applying winter protection. Since most roses
will experience some winter damage that will have to be pruned out
in spring, keep pruning to a minimum except as required to help
roses fit into rose cones or reduce climbers to a manageable size.
Rake up and
remove fallen leaves, especially if disease problems such as
black spot or powdery mildew have been a problem. This reduces the
amount of disease-causing spores present to cause problems the
following year. You will probably still need to make fungicide
applications in spring to protect susceptible roses from disease,
but the pressure will be slightly less if you remove diseased leaves
Light pink roses are given to express
admiration, grace, and joy!
tea roses, mound about eight inches of soil up over the crown to
protect the graft union and insure that the variety survives the
winter, not just the rootstock. Make sure to pull the soil from
other areas of your yard, and not from around the base of the
rose. Once the ground has frozen, you can mulch the hilled-up soil
with evergreen boughs (a great way to recycle holiday trees!),
shredded leaves or straw. Remember, the point of winter protection
is keep frozen ground frozen, not to keep plants warm. Our region’s
frequent freeze-thaw cycles are much harder on plants than
consistently cold weather.
You can also
cover your most tender hybrid teas with rose cones. These
Styrofoam covers are designed to protect roses from drying winter
wind. Make sure to punch a few holes in the cone to permit some air
circulation, to help cut down on disease problems under the cone.
You will also have to cut the canes down hard to fit them under
cones. Many rose experts recommend a final fungicide application for
additional protection when using rose cones due to reduced air
climbers and ramblers can be overwintered on their trellises with no
problem. If you have chosen more tender varieties, you may need to
remove the canes from the trellis and lay them on the ground, then
mound soil over them. As with the hybrid tea roses, you can mulch
the soil mounds after the soil has frozen.
Photos of Roses
Roses for Realists