rose pots in garage - too warm?

canadian_rose(zone 3a)January 23, 2010

Hi, hopefully I didn't already post this - thought I did, but can't find it.

Anyway I am concerned that my garage (attached and insulted) might be too warm for overwintering my tender roses. I live in Calgary and we gent a lot of chinook weather. Quite often there is water (not ice) on the floor of the garage. I actually have to shovel it out every day a lot of the time. Do you think it will be too warm for the roses???



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I read your other thread too, but I'll respond in this one. I would be much more concerned about your pots getting too cold, not too warm. Tender roses do fine in much warmer climes where frosts are not severe and the ground never freezes, so warmth isn't going to be a problem. But your pots in the garage are essentially like you've dug the rootball out of the ground and raised it a pot's height above the ground, so getting too cold in a bad cold snap is much more of a concern. In a cold snap, I would be really tempted to cover the pots with something -- blankets, sleeping bags, etc. to expose them more to the warmth of the ground than the chill of the air.

I've successfully overwintered six hybrid tea roses in Edmonton for the past 5 or more years. I planted them very deep so that the lower stems are underground, and I planted them on a steep slant to maximize the amount of stem underground (probably almost the bottom foot of stem is underground). Each fall I cover them with at least a foot of leaves or straw. They kill right to the soil level most years, but the underground stems survive and they quickly put up stong shoots and are flowering by late June or so until frost. They get a bit taller each year, now they reach about 3 feet by late summer. It is a lot of work to plant them, but it saves springtime lugging pots in and out of the garage to give them light by day, frost protection at night. Something to consider anyhow.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 11:23PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Thanks Don

For the cold, my garage has a HUGE overhead heater (it was there when we bought the garage). That was one of the mistakes I made - didn't realize it was going on and off for about 3 months - sheesh. So when there's a deep cold - not sure what temperature???? I can put the heater on.

I lived in Edmonton for 8 years and I had about 50 tender roses in the yard. But here, the ground is incredibly rocky, plus there are tree roots absolutely everywhere. I planted a Frederic Mistral in the ground and it died. Plus there was a 1 inch plant in the ground. I knew it was a rose, so I potted it, turns out it was Morden Blush. If Morden Blush just barely ekes it out here, I don't think I can plant anything. I think all the tree roots are preventing other plants from growing (allolopathy). So I'm pretty much resigned to having pots.

If you or anyone else has ideas on how to keep my roses alive overwinter in my garage, I would love to read some VERY DETAILED :) ideas on how to do that.

Thanks so much.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 11:48PM
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Don gives good detailed information there.

Regarding the Chinooks, a well insulated garage will not much be influenced by some of those balmy days you receive. We did not install any heating system in our garage, basically it isn't required as we're not storing any frost sensitive items in there. When the outside temperature becomes bitterly cold and it begins to get close to 0 C in the garage, we just plug in a small heater, and that is only required a handful of times during the winter. Though, I'm thinking of cutting through the wall and running a vent from the furnace, to be opened only during a deep cold snap, this way we can go away from home without worrying about leaving a heater on.

Carol, can you turn off that overhead heater? What is the temperature that is maintained within your garage?


    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 3:58PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Terry - I turned off the overhead heater about a month ago. But still - the water we bring in with our car melts and does not freeze. With our chinooks - the temp can be 7 to 10 degrees outside. I'm really worried that I won't be able to keep roses alive over winter here. I adore roses - in my old yard I had 50 roses and plans for another 100. Here I might not be able to have any. I really need help.

So I should probably get a thermometer for the garage. I think that's a good idea. Thanks.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 4:48PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Well, my husband said, don't need to buy a thermometer. The temperature is between 3 and 5 degrees.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 5:21PM
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Carol, with that heater turned off, the temperature in your garage will be just fine! I just checked and it's +3 C in my garage, a couple of degrees either way won't spell disaster for the plants.

"Well, my husband said, don't need to buy a thermometer" ... you tell him that every gardener NEEDS a thermometer!


    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 1:03AM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

You're right Terry - a thermometer can save me tons of money if all of my roses live versus die.

I copied this from my other thread. I'm still so worried that I'm going to kill all my roses next year too.

So here is my summary of what I need to do for my potted roses. Is there anything incorrect or did I miss anything?

1. In the fall wait until leaves fall off of rose bushes.
2. Water really, really well
3. Bring roses into garage.
4. Leave them on the garage floor.
5. DO NOT COVER with plastic bags (I did this and now my roses are completely covered with fungus)
6. Lightly water once a month over winter.
7. Temperature in garage should be around -1 to +3.

Thank you all so much. I'm feeling pretty badly about my maybe dead roses in the garage (30 of them!!). I don't want to replicate this disaster next year.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 2:27AM
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I presume it's the overhead heater that's keeping the garage above zero? It's -14C today, there's no way that garage is above zero on its own. My garage this morning was -9C, for reference.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 2:19PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Shazam - no, the overhead heater is off. I think our garage is just really well insulated. However, I have not gotten my thermometer yet. That is on my plan to do this week.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 4:00PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Okay here are my new rules based on going through many articles, etc. on the net. So I hope it works better than the ones in my garage right now - yech - covered in fungus and dead, dead, dead.

1. Make sure the roses get through one or two frosts.
2. Make sure the leaves fall off or else take them off.
3. Water the pots really well.
4. Place the pots on styrofoam sheets or on top of something so they're off the ground.
5. Keep the garage temperature above -7C and below 10C.
6. Water 2 or 3 times over winter.

It's worth a try.!!

Thanks for all your help!


    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 11:31PM
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