Rose Mulching after frost

carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)November 6, 2010

This week a killing frost finally hit the south MA coast (hurray! No more eggplants!) so after I dug up the dead veggie plants, I put a light straw mulch around my 1-year-old antique climbing rose plants. Other mulches seemed too heavy. This is de-seeded cut straw. The rose plants which were all band size (2" x 6") in the spring, all show new growth, nice red leaves and thorns and even 2 flower buds on one. Questions: is the mulch OK? And should I cut off the buds so energy goes into the plants? It seems a shame not to enjoy the last roses of summer, albeit mid-November.

I'll ask on the antique roses forum but most of them are in CA and FL. I was hoping for a New England rose grower.


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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

I found, on a rose forum, answers & opinions about mulching roses. Most people around the country said "no mulch". But here in New England I want to at least protect the small baby rose plants from winter mud splash-up. So I got a bale of chopped straw - no seeds - and threw a bit of straw lightly around the rose plant stem, not packing it down.

Anybody else out there use chopped straw?


    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 3:13PM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

Just began using 'Simply Straw' this year as a mulch and as a pathway cover - thanks to runktrun mentioning it earlier this year. I gleaned advice from a rosarian recently who stated that she would not mulch roses here in central CT until at least Thanksgiving in order to have the plants benefit from as much rainfall/slush as possible before the ground freezes. Also learned that rose plants, in general, benefit from receiving 3.5 gallons of water per week. Additionally, the 3 of my 6 KO roses that have been deer-pruned are suffering a lack of height and growth because deer saliva poisons the plant. The plants not pruned by Bambi's mouth are 4' tall and blooming. I plan on mixing the seedless straw with my finely shredded leaf mulch and pack the little darlings for a long winter's nap right around turkey day - and after all the deer netting is in place!

I like using the straw, Carol, purportedly, as it decomposes, it'll boost the nitrogen level. Green is good.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 3:52PM
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