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Cold Climate Rose Care

For all but once flowering roses, stop deadheading or cutting rose boquets 4 weeks prior to your first frost date. This allows rose hips to form. Hips alert bushes to ready for dormancy.

If your climate requires soil mound protection avoid using compost or first year manure of any kind. Snow is a good insulator cover over soil mounds. In severe winters, roses can be covered to the top of the cane tips. This prevents canes from rocking in the ground on warm or windy days. Rocking kills more roses than cold temps.

kevinschoppe
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What do you think about southern climates?

We don't usually have any cold frost untill maybe december. Its real unpricitable down here. Last Christmas we had 3-4 feet of snow on the beach in texas, but 2 years ago it was 75-80oF on Christmas Day.

grandpasrose
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The beginning of my cold climate rose care begins when I obtain a new rose. Our winter temperature here goes often down to 40 below. As you can imagine, not many of our rose bushes would survive even with covering. When planting a new rose, I always plant it with the bud union at least 4 to six inches, below the ground level. This automatically gives it that much insulation. It does not hurt your rose in any way.

You should stop fertilizing your repeat blooming roses with nitrogen after the second flush, and after blooming for the once blooming roses. Stop deadheading your roses four to six weeks before the first frost date for your area. This lets the rose develop it's hips and begin to prepare itself for dormancy.

You should keep watering your roses right up until the first frost. They continue to grow in the winter, building their strong root and canes, just slower.

Then in the fall, after the first hard frost has hit, I prune all my bushes down to six inches for ease of covering. Those further south prune theirs to about 18 to 24 inches to prevent winter wind rock.

Then mound the rose with well rotted compost, dirt, or other insulating material like sawdust to cover about 10 inches. If you live in the colder areas, then cover with a further two feet of straw.

Then cover it all with a waterproof tarp. Freeze and thaw is what kills roses during the winter. The secret is to keep them dry. The tarp is to prevent the roses from getting further water as the freeze and thaw comes through winter, and roses tend to not make it through winter if they are not kept dry.

I leave my bushes like this until there is sign of the first leaf buds on the trees that are NATURAL to my area. I then uncover them, leaving the compost as is. I fertilize and deeply water them. They will come back to life - don't give up hope! Once they have come back and I know what has survived, (I haven't lost a rose in several years) I then do a clean up pruning on them to take out any dead wood. I have glorious roses, and have continued my grandfather's love of growing roses here since 1940!
I go through this every year, and actually lose very few roses now. It took a few years to get it all figured out, but it's worth it! :D

Obviously everyone's climate is a little different, so we all take what we can from what we learn, and use what makes sense for our area.
Hope this helps - enjoy putting your beauties to bed!! :wink:

VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

kevinschoppe
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Good info to know...

We have our first hard Frost middle of January here in SW Texas. I heard some people who will make sure they water their plants and leaves right before it freezes so ice will form. They say that the ice will act as in protection to the leaves and plants. Do you do this Grandpa?

Kevin

grandpasrose
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Absolutely not!!! :shock: That's what I was meaning about freeze and thaw!
If your bush and roots are soaking wet, and then freeze to ice, the ice expands, thereby expanding some of your wonderful plant roots with it, and then they burst, or crack open, and can no longer support the plant. The less dampness in the ground while freezing, the less likelihood of loss of your rose.

That does not mean that you should not water your roses up until that first hard freeze, but no longer.
Hope that helps! :wink: :wink:
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

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Wintering Texas Roses

Kevin ~

I would recommend visiting the American Rose Society website and directing your winter care question to a rosarian in your state. The site has a geographical link for questions. You may find that you need only protect your rose for approching cold spells. It is a common practice in the south and west to protect plant parts with a coating of ice. Grafts may need more protection. Post back with any information you aquire.

Should you have a need to soil mound, any clean, cheap, general soil is a better choice than compost. Compost is to porous to keep cold out and retains to much moisture, save it for soil conditioning. Climbers, tree roses and roses in containers require different wintering methods.

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Hi Kevin!

I am in zone 7a and most people around here never bother to do anything more than cut their rose canes back to 18-24 inches. My neighbor has never even covered her mother's old roses (my neighbor's mother has been gone a long, long time).

For myself, I like to know my roses are going to make it, so I've asked around and the people that do more, cover the base of the plant with a few inches of compost and leave it at that.

Ice is an insulator and does protect your plant from the occasional freeze. When I lived in FL (zone 9a) farmers frequently spray their citrus crop to protect it, because the frost it only there for a few hours and that would prevent the fruit and plant from getting colder than 32 degress F.

What Val (Grandpa'sRose goes through is quite different - plants there would die if they iced them over and then let them thaw like that.

Absolutely follow her advice and see what your local extension office has to say - and let us know too!:)

-Grey

grandpasrose
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guest wrote:Kevin ~
Should you have a need to soil mound, any clean, cheap, general soil is a better choice than compost. Compost is to porous to keep cold out and retains to much moisture, save it for soil conditioning.


Actually, material that is porous and has more air pockets is a better insulator than materials that pack down. The other reason I use compost to put on my roses, is that when I have taken the straw off in the spring, then the spring rain will seep all the good nutrients from that compost right down to where the rose needs it.

Certainly, Kevin, you should be looking all over the net for information about your roses, as I do as well. I am constantly reading new books and articles and pick up new tidbits all the time.

As I said in my previous post, we take what we learn from all over, and see what works for us. If we only ever did what everyone else always did, nothing new would ever be discovered! :wink:

VAL
Last edited by grandpasrose on Tue Oct 04, 2005 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

grandpasrose
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guest wrote:Kevin ~
It is a common practice in the south and west to protect plant parts with a coating of ice. Grafts may need more protection. Post back with any information you aquire.


Me again! In your post you mentioned coatings of ice to protect roses. Hearing that just goes against everything I've ever learned, so I put myself to work to see if I could find out what it was about. I searched and searched the web (including ARS), and my own rose library, and I could find no reference to coating your roses with ice (on purpose) as a manner of winter protection.

I wondered if you could direct me to a resource regarding this? Thanks. :wink:
VAL
Last edited by grandpasrose on Tue Oct 04, 2005 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

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Grey
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Hey Val!

I found this: http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/g ... n01243.htm

The reason folks in the south spray their roses with water for a cold snap is the same as why orange growers spray their citrus. AFAIK, at least in FL - the cold snap where temperatures go below 32 only lasts a few hours. It may only be once or twice a year where the temp will go as low as 25 degrees (and that low is rare) - and it will only be that cold for a few hours in the pre-dawn hours.

By mid-day, the frost may have ended, the water thaws, and in FL's sandy soil, it just drains away - rare for anything to puddle there!

That said - in FL, even with those expected lows, I never bothered to spray my roses with water and ice them over. Since it was so short, I'd just throw old sheets over them and use clothespins to hold them shut from any biting winds that might try to get through cracks. I never lost a rose in the winter (the long hot summer is another story).

In your area of the world - ice would be the last thing to do because water, once frozen, can continue to drop in temperature over time. With the kind of cold you experience, spraying water on your roses would be a ticket to their untimely death.

grandpasrose
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Thanks Grey!
So really, this is not a winter care preparation, but rather a quick solution for an event that occurs once in a while. So one would not go out and drench their rosebushes until they were coated with ice for the whole winter. Is that right? :?
VAL
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Grey
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grandpasrose wrote:Thanks Grey!
So really, this is not a winter care preparation, but rather a quick solution for an event that occurs once in a while. So one would not go out and drench their rosebushes until they were coated with ice for the whole winter. Is that right? :?
VAL


Nope - not up north! Quick way to dead rosebushes that way!

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We do it at the nursery to protect uncovered material waiting on the shipping dock, but it's no long term solution to freezing w-weather and like Val sez, can damage material with the freeze thaw cycle (some damage to twigs and such, but feeder roots are the part that gets messed up the worst...)

grandpasrose
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Thanks Grey and Scott!!! I was having nightmares visioning all these poor roses layered in ice!!! :shock:
I feel much better now that I know that it is only used as a temporary fix to an occasional dip in temperature. Whew!!! :wink:
VAL
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JPIXI
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Hi guys,

Maybe this is a stupid question, but I rather to be the bimbo now than be a rose murder later...

Is there any guideline in cutting back during mid fall? I am not sure how much I should cut back, and if I cut too much, will I kill the plant :oops:

Cheers,
Pixi

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Pixi, as if you could ever be a murderer of your roses with the special care you give them!!
I have just written a couple of articles on preparing your roses for winter, and they are posted under the thread "Several Specific Winter Protection for Roses Articles". Give these a read, and see if they answer your questions, and if not, get back to me.
Let me know if you still need some help, okay?
Rappelez-vous, vous sont le docteur rose, pas meurtrier!
Bonjour, :wink:
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

JPIXI
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Thanks VAL! Pardon me for not making my question clear, in the first place.

I read your post about the fall cut back. But my problem is, most of my roses are very very very old, with very very big trunk-like stem. They basically measure about 12cm to 16cm in diameter. My question is, if I cut back to 12 to 24 inches, the cut will trim down the hard wood(no leaf, no brunch). Will it kill them?

Could you tell me, do I need to leave them with at least a few number of leaf?

Awaiting your advices.

Merci d'advance
Pixi

grandpasrose
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Pixi, you live in Zone 8, meaning it goes just below freezing. If I recall, most of your roses, except a few, were shrub roses, which should be hardy. Are these the ones we are speaking of?
These roses have already proven their hardiness by surviving this long with minimal care until they were blessed with you. I think you should just give them a prune to shape them a bit, but don't use the distances I have used in the article. They do not need such a harsh pruning. Just make them into a nice shape,and leave healthy growth. Do tie the branches loosely together to prevent wind from blowing them around, and give them a good mulch around the bottom of the bush.
Of course, the roses that you have that are teas, grandifloras, and floribundas, your Queen Elizabeth for example, will have to be treated according to the outline in my article for your climate.
I hope this helps better!!! Get back to me if you need more!
:wink: Bonsoir!
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

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Thanks VAL!

I was a little lost before your prior explanation. I was about to buy a saw to cut off the trunk to prune them then. They are so old that they look more like old trees than rose plants to me.

Merci bien!
Pixi

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They are so old that they look more like old trees than rose plants to me.


My mother has a twenty five year old rosemary bush. She pruned it back so it's short but bushy. This plant is hardy. She yanked it out by the roots, just yanked it out of the ground and moved it to a spot where she wouldn't have to look at it (she obviously doesn't cook with rosemary too much, and this plant was her least favorite in her garden). And it survived and prospered.

The wood on it is gnarly and twisted just like the old knotty vines on the hundred year old zinfandel grapes you can see up in Northern California. It takes my breath away to view the twisted knotty wood of these old plants. Resembles bonsai. I'm a fan of ancient plants.

So every time I visit the old house, I always make a trip to the backyard to say hello to the old rosemary bush and admire it's twisted knotty trunk (and snag a few branches, ha!).

I should take a closer look at her roses, they're old too. At least thirty years old.

grandpasrose
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Roger - If your mother has some rose bushes that are thirty years old, you'll see some knarly old branches, unless she has been regularly pruning them.
I suspect some of Pixi's roses are much older than that - I would hate to even guess. She has some rose bushes there that have not been available for a veeeeerrrrrry long time! So we don't want her to do anything too drastic to them and lose them! :wink:

Pixi - Didn't mean to frighten you! :shock: Please be sure that if anything sounds really bazaar to you, it probably is, and double check!
Salut, mon vieux gardien rose! :wink:
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

JPIXI
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he he...I think my roses are older than my apartment buidling(35yrs old). The shape of this building had been deliberately designed to avoid moving the rose garden they had in their family. Heard that the roses in my garden, some are as old as 200 yrs old or more, a good 5 generations here with the family. I am surprise roses can grow that long...

Just today, I got to find out from an old guest of my neighbour in a bimbo weekly gossip section, that the ex owner was working in rose researches. Her grandson now had continued her son's profession as rose genetic designer or whatever they call it.

Until next June, I will have a chance to meet the building owner(rose owner) for annual meeting for all occupants. Till then I will ask more about these treasures history.

Just a small scandal to share with you guys.

Cheers,
Pixi

grandpasrose
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Pixi - that is the most incredible story! I am jealous and wish that I could see your roses! That is one thing that has always filled me with wonderment about Europe, is the sense of deep, long history. I am a geneologist as well as a rose gardener, so cherish history almost as much as roses!
When you meet this man, you are going to have to ask him many questions for us!! We will start a list for you!! :lol:
Vous êtes le garde de la flamme rose - ne la laissez pas sortir! Faites attention. :wink:
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

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Re: Cold Climate Rose Care

Anonymous wrote:For all but once flowering roses, stop deadheading or cutting rose boquets 4 weeks prior to your first frost date. This allows rose hips to form. Hips alert bushes to ready for dormancy.

If your climate requires soil mound protection avoid using compost or first year manure of any kind. Snow is a good insulator cover over soil mounds. In severe winters, roses can be covered to the top of the cane tips. This prevents canes from rocking in the ground on warm or windy days. Rocking kills more roses than cold temps.

I never soil mound or do anything special to cover my roses in the winter and I have drop dead roses every year.

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