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First winter with minis...what did I do wrong?

Posted by lilgreenfrog 5a CO (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 21, 08 at 23:47

Hi, all. I put in 4 minis last fall, all in various stages of recovering from spider mites. I believe all were getting established by winter, as all had new growth.
To winter them I put rose collars on and filled them loosely with straw. I pulled off the collars several weeks ago, as I didn't want them sitting in moist straw. All had died back to about an inch tall, but had green leaves popping out. Since then we've had a few snows/temp dips to the high 20's, and the minis are UNHAPPY. Their new leaves keep getting killed, and I think I've lost one. Should I have been out there covering them with straw when the temps dropped, and then uncovering them the next morning?

As a comparison, I bought a few minis this December, and kept them in my dining room under lights...they were put outside in their pots several weeks ago, and have tolerated the 60 degree temp swings without issue.

What did I do wrong with the guys in the ground?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: First winter with minis...what did I do wrong?

Minis are very hardy in our zone. I don't cover mine at all.
When I pruned my minis I had to cut some very close to the ground. Don't be in a big rush to dig it up. The soil is not warm enough to jump start growth. Make sure if you are not getting rain, to water. Then you can feed them, then water again after.
When a rose loses leaves there is another bud to take it's place. All it's going to take is some nice weather.

RE: First winter with minis...what did I do wrong?

Thanks for the encouragement! And no, I won't dig any up until I'm sure they're dead...I was just surprised that they seemed so tender after surviving the winter.
They're in amended clay, so I think they're still pretty moist, but I did feed and water it in back when I could see growth on them.

I'll keep my fingers crossed. Thanks!

RE: First winter with minis...what did I do wrong?

Spring can be tough on all plants. If temps get warm, they start to grow, putting up soft, new growth. When it goes below freezing, the water inside the new growth can freeze, often killing the new growth.
I have used old sheets to throw on top of my roses when they predict temps in the low 30's. I do not have cones. The sheet does need to be secured from blowing away but is pretty easy to put on and take off. If they predict a long stretch of cold weather, putting the cones back on at night, with out the straw, should be enough to hold the heat in around the plant.

RE: First winter with minis...what did I do wrong?

You put your minis in during the fall. Spring to early summer should be the latest to plant them. The reason is they need to put on a good root system to keep the plant going. Roses that are healthy going into winter will come out of winter in good shape. The new growth that was put on in the fall most likely got froze off in the winter. If you can correct those issues this year, you will have nice plants .

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