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Putting my roses to bed

Posted by mother_in_mentor 6 - Ohio (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 22, 06 at 22:37

Ok, im new to ohio. I live way up in northeast ohio, right on the shore of lake erie. this is my first house, and i have never had roses before, they were here when we bought the house. i have done nothing to them all summer. we have had several frosts, and even snow, and these silly roses are still blooming. my mom says i need to put them to bed.. but i dont know how. i have no idea what type of roses they are. i have two bushes, one is white and one is red, the roses are kinda small, but not spray roses. any help would be welcome :) thanks.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Putting my roses to bed

Don't cut off the flowers, let them set hips. Those are the red lumpy seed pods. That tell rose to start getting ready for winter. I really would not do anything until the ground freezes hard. Then you can mound up some dirt or chopped leaves, sawdust, over the plant coming out of the ground. If you can find Rose Collars, they go around the plant and you fill with the leaves or sawdust. The fill keeps plant at a steady temp whether the outside is warm or cold. Prevents early sprouting when winter is not done yet!! You could make some collars if you have large plastic pots from plants, cut out the bottom and slice the side from top to bottom. You now have a plastic circle you can place around plant, clip shut and fill. I use those big black paper, springy binder clips, to hold edges in the circle. Keep the fill inside.

You have to wait for frozen ground to collar roses so outside varmints don't move into nice soft fill, make a winter home. They will nibble on rose and can kill it.

I don't use the styrofoam covers. They let in too much light, can get very hot with sunshine on them and no air escape. I know folks who cooked their plants. My plants also get too large to fit easily, then covers blow away in the wind!!

I don't trim my roses back for winter unless there is a very long shoot that will be broken off in very windy days.
Roses look fluffy, but most are REALLY tough garden plants. The leaf pile on them is often all that is needed for older plants, keeps them a steady cool temp till Spring. You might check on the Antique Roses and other Rose forums for more information. Welcome to the Midwest and winter!

RE: Putting my roses to bed

Some roses, such as the shrub type and the "Explorer" type do not usually need such extremes of protection....but what the hey, protect them anyway.

Use earth gathered from another site...don't use soil gathered from the base of the plant. Mound up at least 12"
...then put evergreen boughs or leaves (oak leaves best) over that to help offset freeze/thaw cycles that do occur.

Don't unmound until the soil has warmed up and then its time enough to begin your spring pruning.
Only prune now what is damaged or weak. Any canes that seem wild, gather together and tie to prevent them whipping and rubbing on one another.

In the spring, take note where any brown cane is evident.
Cut back to the green and follow the steps according to the variety of rose you have.

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