A message from Larry “The Rose Guy” about winterizing your roses.
It’s getting colder and the days are getting shorter, so it’s time to think about preparing your roses for winter. Don’t stop watering. This is very important as the die back you see on your roses in the spring is caused by cold winter winds which take out the moisture from the canes.
Do not prune now because the die back will start from the point you made your cuts. You should start piling up leaves and/or mulch around the base of your roses to protect the graft. If your graft isn’t 1 inch below the soil then you might want to add some dirt first. This can be pulled away in the spring.
Soil testing at least every other year is a good idea. MSU has an extension office at the old Nazareth College building. The cost is $25 for a very complete test. It will not only give you an accurate PH level, but will indicate which nutrients need to be added.
Larry Hill is an employee at Wenke Greenhouses and is a self proclaimed rose addict. Larry has been growing roses for about 14 yrs and has approximately 70 roses. Larry currently serves at the vice president of The SW MI Celebration of Roses which is our local rose society.
Article originally published Oct 23, 2014