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Winter Protection for Roses

Roses need protection from extreme cold winter weather. If the weather in your area does not get below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, winter protection is generally not needed. For everyone else, take heed. Cold temperatures below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, even for a short period, can kill your rose bushes. Protecting your rose bushes from the icy blasts of winter is a quick task.

Regardless of where you live, prune your bushes in the fall after the first hard freeze. Tea roses can be trimmed to 12 to 24 inches in height. Keep 5 to 7 sturdy canes. Climbing roses can be trimmed back as extensively as you want at this time. It is a good time to give them as good pruning to promote the strongest canes, and to cut out some of the thinner ones.

If your cold temperatures can go from zero to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, it is important to mound soil around the root of your plant. Mound garden soil up and around the root ball about four to six inches high in a pyramid fashion. This can be done any time before extremely cold weather arrives. In the spring, the soil should be removed away from the root ball.

If your area experiences weather below zero degrees, you should cover the entire plant. This works well for tea roses, but is not practical for climbing roses. Use straw or dead leaves. A box or frame is often used to contain the straw or leaves. As spring arrives, this material can be removed or spread around the garden as mulch.

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