Caring for Minature Rose in Zone 4

dpinker1(z4 NY)September 7, 2005

I have a garden bed with about 5 minature rose plants in it that are doing wonderful. Please offer tips on how to care for them this winter (covering them). I also need to move one from another area into that garden bed, when is the best time for it's still blooming. Last how should I trim these down (they are growing too large) and how short should I trim them later prior to winter.

Thanks for any info.

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tenor_peggy(10 FL, N. Fort Myers)

If these are own root minis, a good mulching is all they require. Any canes above the mulch may turn brown/black over the winter so if you want to you can remove the canes above the mulch. Do you have to move that one mini now? I'd wait until early spring and transplant it then.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 4:46PM
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dpinker1(z4 NY)

I don't have to move the other now, I will wait until spring. It's ready to bloom again so I may leave it where it is and just rearrange all of that garden come spring. Thanks for the info. Mulching is awesome. Another problems is how much to cut back and when. My Maria rose bush is about 2 1/2 high, way to high. It has roses coming out everywhere.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 5:34PM
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tandaina(WA (8))

Cut back in the spring. After the forsythia blooms uncover them and take stock. Prune out anything that has been killed by winter (and there probably will be a great deal) and then prune them to please yourself. Mini roses aren't necessarily "mini" it just beans the blooms are small, no the bushes.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 4:40PM
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ginni77(z 5)

I was just going to ask this question for zone 5. I'm glad I found this thread! I just planted 16 minis with 4 more on the way in a new bed. I've lost any mini's I had before trying to over-winter them in pots in my garden shed (no heat at all). I've managed to get Minnie Pearl thru winter in the ground and hope these others are the same. I'd love to know the secret to getting them thru winter in pots, because I just love having minis on my deck. I don't have a garage and with just a shed, the only other alternative would be in the house and that wouldn't work either. And I don't have room in any of my large rose beds to sink the pots in the ground. If anyone has any clues as to how to do this, let me know. I don't mean to hijack your thread dpinker1.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 2:54PM
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rose_scents(z6, coastal MA)

With no space to bury them in the ground (the best way to over winter potted roses), try layering them in a trash barrel with leaves or peat moss as insullation. Don't put the plants in until they have had a few frosts and lost their older leaves. Best to spray with a fungicide. Then put a layer of leaves in the bottom of the barrel, then a potted rose placed off center, surround it with more leaves and then put in another rose, making sure it does not go directly on top of the one below, until the barrel is full leaving room for plenty of insulation on top.
For the roses in the ground, it's best not to mulch them until the ground freezes. That will keep any little critters from getting in and eating the plant during the winter. If it snows before the ground freezes, the mulch can go on top of the snow - after the ground freezes.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 1:46PM
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My best luck with all my non-hardy roses was to winter them over in my crawl space. This crawl space was not heated in general, but it was insulated and had a single baseboard heater (consider for sheds) for one small area where the plumbing was concentrated. It was set at 35 degrees - just enough to keep the water from freezing. Ice would form on the ground beneath the vapor barrier. There were no windows, so it was dark unless a light was turned on. It was perfect for storing roses. A garage would do just as well. The trick is - make certain they are well watered until they are fully dormant. Most people lose their roses to lack of watering. If they are not dormant, they must not get bone dry.

I have had extremely poor luck wintering over potted plants with mulch-straw-etc. I agree - only burying the entire pot works.

It is true that many roses will die back to the soil level and come back the following year. I never found that particularly satisfying. A rose does its best after it is established and has been able to build upon at least a couple of years of growth. This can never happen when it dies back to the ground every year.

Under any circumstances, whatever you try, I have found that watering is important. In cold climates it is important to water the ground well so that when it does freeze, your dormant plant is well locked in. Aside from poor roses that might otherwise do well in cool garages if not for dying of thirst, the second biggest cause of death to all cold-climate plants is freeze-thaw cycles. A plant that has well watered ground in which to freeze solid will not thaw during short warming periods, and will withstand harsh winters better. Beyond that, good mulch is essential. Baking soda water is a good natural fungicide. Mix 1 tsp per gallon of water and spray on plants prior to mulching to keep down mold growth.

After trying everything, my preference has been to keep a few beloved non-hardy roses in very large pots, and winter over in my crawl space.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 11:29PM
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dpinker1(z4 NY)

Thanks for all of the info. I wouldn't dig mine up, they are definately staying where they are. They are so beautiful right now. So basically just leave them alone and then prune them in the spring? Will mulch after it freezes.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 12:54PM
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