Winters in the colder climates (zone 6 and cooler) can be damaging for roses, especially hybrid tea varieties and roses that have been grafted to a wild or hardy root stock. Mulching them appropriately can prevent unnecessary die-back and even the loss of the whole plant. There are other benefits as well, including water retention and better topsoil quality in the spring, especially when combined with another round of mulch when the plant leafs out. —
When preparing roses for winter, it’s best to wait until after several hard freezes before mulching to ensure that the plant has gone dormant before it gets its winter treatment.
To begin, scrape away any collected leaves or other detritus from the base of the plant. It’s better not to leave it there because it can harbor harmful insects and fungi. This plant matter, unless it is mildewed, can go right into the compost heap. Otherwise, it can go out with the garbage.
Before applying the mulch, water the plant thoroughly to soften the ground and to give the rose a store of water to help it through the winter. Though not necessary, it can be beneficial to sprinkle a thin layer of compost around the rose to help fertilize it. Use quality compost that is fully organic to prevent the plant from being harmed by lingering herbicides. Look for a product that has a proper balance of nutrients, is biologically active, free of weed seeds, high in organic matter (loosens the soil and creates increased water-holding capacity) and has a fine texture so the compost can be spread thin.
Choose a quality mulch that’s loose and workable, not something in big hard chunks or that’s ground too finely. It needs to act as an insulator while still letting water through and being easy to scrape back in the spring. It should be able to stay put if applied in an area exposed to wind, and should keep its color for at least two years if colored mulch is chosen.
Apply it around the base of the rose, two to four inches deep, or deeper if anyone need more to cover the graft union of a grafted plant.
For climbing roses, wrap the canes in straw or gently unwind them from their trellis, lay them out on the ground, and cover them in mulch. They can be reattached to the trellis in the spring.
Treated this way, roses are protected from the worst of the cold, the drying effects of winter wind, and from erosion caused by snow melt.
The mulch should be pulled back from the plant after the last frost has passed, but it can remain in the bed to suppress weeds and help retain water as long as it’s no longer touching the plant directly. Mulches can also enhance the look of a rose garden during the summer by providing visual contrast with the plants while continuing to protect them through hot weather.
To determine how much mulch people will need to winterize the roses, use the “Mulch Calculator” at SoilRejuvenation.com. For those who interested, may call for delivery to Northern Colorado locations within 30 miles of Longmont at (970) 535-4157 or (303) 775-6275. Or else can pick up the mulch by appointment at 479 Hwy 66, Longmont, Colorado, between Hwy 287 and I-25.
Soil Rejuvenation of Longmont, Colorado, is a producer and supplier of many choices of mulches, soils, and composts. They offer price-leading products as well as premium products that “will turn any gardeners head,” according to owner/manager, Brian Hoogland. Soil Rejuvenation offers more than a dozen different mulches, four different soils, ranging from organically fortified garden soils to topsoil, and four different composts, ranging from organically fortified compost to dairy compost.
Name: Brian Hoogland
Email: Send Email
Organization: Soil Rejuvenation
Address: 479 Hwy 66, Longmont, CO 80504
Phone: (970) 535-4157
Release ID: 26655