Getting roses ready for winter - Denver area

shadygarden_CO(z5 Denver)October 31, 2007

What do you do to your roses in the fall? I have only own-root roses, no hybrid teas. Should I cut off the buds that are still on them now (October 31)? Should I clean the area around them and add mulch? I have Ballerina, climbers, Morden Blush, Bonica, miniatures, Knockouts, The Fairy. My garden is kind of sheltered, quite small.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Marlene

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cnetter(z5 Co)

I don't do any cutting on my roses until pruning time in the spring. The buds don't need to be removed, although if you want to for neatness sake, it won't hurt.

I mulch my miniatures and anything newly planted with maple and oak leaves which stay nice and fluffy and allow for air circulation. Later, I cut off the branches of Christmas trees and put the branches around the minis that didn't get covered before. Both the leaves and branches helps to prevent dessication from those horrible drying chinook winds that often come around late winter/early spring, although this might not be as big a problem for you if you have a sheltered yard. My roses get the full force of those winds and the roses that were protected always look better than those that weren't.

If, during the winter, things have been quite dry and the ground is not frozen, give the roses some water.

I've heard very good thing about Knockouts roses. How do you like them?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 3:24PM
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david52_gw

I do what cnetter does, and call the bare canes "winter interest". This winter, like the 1st week of March (and if I can remember), I will spray them with a systemic bug killer, and see if I can't get rid of what ever thing causes the black stem that only shows up in April, theory, and recent, local word of mouth rose lore, has it that it may be caused by some bug that eats out the center of the stems.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 6:32PM
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catladysgarden(z5 CO)

I don't do any Fall pruning. I prune to live wood in the Spring. Years ago, I used to put collars on them and filled them with mulch. I don't do that anymore. I keep the beds mulched with wood chips year round. Most of my hybrid teas have been in place for 25 years or more. I rarely lose one over Winter. When I plant them, I put the graft 2 or 3 inches below the soil surface. I believe that has helped them to survive. If you're dealing with roses on their own roots, you don't need to worry about that. All of the own root roses that I have purchased have been much smaller than grafted plants. It takes them a few years to catch up, but once they are well established, they're great. All of my roses got a top dressing of alfalfa pellets and well rotted horse manure within the last month. They will get a new layer of wood chips or cedar mulch sometime between now and Spring as weather permits.

I think Winter watering is extremely important when there is no snow cover. This is not just for roses, but the entire landscape. Many lawns suffer mite damage during the Winter in the Denver area. We ordinarily don't have a lot of snow cover. Last Winter was kind of an exception. I firmly believe that more plants die from dessication than from cold.
Karen

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 3:19AM
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rozannadanna(8 TX)

Has anyone tried spraying with wiltproof to prevent drying out?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 8:15AM
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shadygarden_CO(z5 Denver)

Thanks to all for your advice. Cnetter, you asked if I liked the Knockouts. I do like them for their hardiness and prolific blooming. I understand some rose "purists" do not consider them real roses. Their form I guess isn't great, but they do provide lots of welcome color.

Karen, where do you get well-rotted horse manure?

Marlene

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 10:48PM
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cnetter(z5 Co)

I've met quite a few rose snobs in my time, but if this is a real rose (and it really is) then a Knockout sure qualifies as a real rose.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 11:09PM
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irisgirl(Z5 - CO)

I agree 100% w/ catlady's remark about winterizing. I don't cut anything back until spring, and I DO water roses in mid-winter when or if trees need water. NOT last year! lol...

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 2:47AM
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catladysgarden(z5 CO)

Rozannadanna, I have a friend who sprays his roses with wiltpruf and just swears by it. I've never felt the need to use anything like that.
Marlene, I've gotten my manure for years at Aurora Stables.
They are on Exposition between Havana and Moline, on the south side of the street. They're not in the phone book. They have a number on their sign out front, but it is an east Denver telephone. We just drive over and locate one of the stable boys, Luis or Oswaldo. They will load your pickup trunk for $10 and off you go. The manure is well composted. I've never had any weed problems with it and they have mountains of it.
Karen

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 7:40AM
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rozannadanna(8 TX)

cnetter - Green Rose - looks like a huge grass burr doesn't it.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 10:24AM
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cnetter(z5 Co)

Yeah, it does look kinda like that. My mom hates it, but it was great for getting comments at rose shows and got me the dowager queen award more than once.

If those Knockout roses had been around in the '90's, I'm sure I would have bought some.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 10:59AM
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rozannadanna(8 TX)

I still don't have any knockouts - 500 + roses in TX and probably 100 here - no knockouts. No romance attached to them I guess. Now a Pernet-Ducher rose - the story behind their romance was enough to make me lust for them.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 9:14AM
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stevation(z5a Utah)

I would only add one caveat about fall pruning. I have had years when I don't cut them back and other years I do cut them back some. The problem sometimes with not cutting them back at all is that you might get a heavy snow winter, and the weight of the snow can break the branches down lower than you would want them broken. Last year, I trimmed them down to about three feet high to avoid snow breakage. Then I pruned them a little lower in the spring.

I haven't decided yet what I'll do this year, since I pruned them in August (after they got too rampant this year, because I was awfully busy with other things).

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 11:15AM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

IÂm not a rose connoisseur, but I just want to say that I agree with Steve about snow possibly breaking the canes. I only have five teas, and last year I was so grateful that I had gotten them cut down before the blizzard we had just before ChristmasÂand then all the subsequent snows. I always cut the teas down to about 18" in fall, and then cut them a bit shorter and trim out dead wood in spring, but this spring when the snow FINALLY melted off enough to see them again, several of the canes on my favorite oneÂMellow YellowÂhad broken down to the ground in spite of having been cut fairly short last fall. Another advantage IÂve found to cutting them down in fall is that if we get early warm weather and I donÂt get around to cleaning them up promptly, at least theyÂre in their basic size and shape for the new year, and IÂm not cutting a lot of new growth off when I finally get to them.

If I had shrubs or rugosas or something similar, IÂm not sure what IÂd do with them.

Skybird

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 9:35PM
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shadygarden_CO(z5 Denver)

Karen, thanks for the info on Aurora Stables and getting horse manure. That's just a hop, skip, and jump from where I live, but, alas, I don't have a pickup truck. I'm sure my own-roots will survive without horse manure, but that's a good tip.

Rozannadanna, I was intrigued by your reference to the romance involved with Pernet-Ducher roses, so I looked up what I could. Very interesting. So sad that both their sons were killed in WWI. I couldn't find much info about their actual romance. Is there a good story involved?

Marlene

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 10:19AM
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