Portland Rose Society Guide To Pruning Roses

Rose Pruning Cart Ready For Rose Pruning Season

PORTLAND ROSE SOCIETY’S SPRING ROSE PRUNING GUIDE 2/19 

As Spring progresses, gardeners begin to get anxious, particularly the rose gardener who wants to get out and prune the roses. Pruning roses is really a rather simple process, but a process which is hard to put into words. Every experienced rose grower will describe the technique slightly differently and probably will do it slightly differently. One important fact to remember is that no matter how you prune, unless you cut the rose off below the ground line, it will survive and bloom. A total lack of pruning will yield poorer results than any amount of over pruning you may do. So prune with confidence and the results will be good. A fact to remember is that we prune rose bushes for us, not for the rose. The rose will continue to thrive even if it has no pruning done to it, but it will not be as beautiful. To learn more about pruning roses, attend one of the pruning demonstrations presented by the PRS where you can ask specific questions, (the schedule of pruning demonstrations is in the PRS calendar), but for those who cannot attend, the following information should suffice as a guide to pruning roses competently and with confidence.

How

Identifying The Strongest Healthiest Canes

In studying the bottom of the bush, identify the youngest and strongest canes. These can be identified by their color, texture and size. Young canes, one or two years old, are usually green in color and have a relatively smooth outer surface. As canes age they will usually become darker or grey-brown in color as it develops a thicker bark. Aging canes also become rough in texture due to the cracking and peeling of the outer bark. With hybrid tea roses, canes which are easily identified as being old, are usually not very productive and should be entirely removed by cutting them off at the bud union (their origin) using loppers or a pruning saw. (See the darkened cane in the illustration to the right.) A non-productive older cane can be identified by looking at last year’s growth emanating from it. If all of the growth coming from an old cane is small and twiggy it is a sign that this is a cane that should be removed because it is no longer able to produce vigorous new growth and flowers. An old cane that has large healthy looking secondary canes coming from it is usually still productive and should be saved. If a cane is to be removed cut it off as close to the bud union as possible. Stumps of canes left protruding from the bud union after pruning are unattractive. If stumps are left sticking up they will eventually be consumed by fungi and will rot away. Since gardening is about beauty, try to remove old canes during pruning, the result is more pleasing than rotting stumps. 

Opening Up The Center of The Rose Bush

Next, remove any of the younger canes which cross the middle of the bush. These canes should either be removed entirely back to the bud union, or back to the major cane from which they originated. Growth from crossing canes will become intertwined with other new growth with the net result being fewer quality flowers. Then remove canes which are crowded close to each other, usually leaving the larger one of each crowded pair. Finally, if there is any twiggy growth remaining anywhere on the bush, remove it back to its point of origin. (All of the dark colored areas on the bush in the illustration would be removed to achieve the desired effect.) 

'Double Delight' hybrid tea rose, pruned like a vase, fertilized, Canadian Spagnum peat moss layer added, ready for mulch for winter protection
‘Double Delight’ hybrid tea rose, pruned like a vase, fertilized, Canadian Spagnum peat moss layer added, ready for mulch for winter protection

Pruned In A Vase Like Shape Open In Center

When the pruning is finished, the ideal rose bush will have only sturdy, healthy canes radiating from the bud union. In reality, this ideal is rarely achieved. Most bushes do not have enough canes growing in just the right directions to be ideal. If the bush has only 2, 3 or 4 canes, it would be best to allow them all to remain, unless one of them is truly a nonproductive old cane. If the rose has 5 to 7 or more canes, you can then begin making decisions about which ones to remove to achieve a pleasing balance. For most rose bushes, an outcome similar to the diagram below would be desirable.

Ideal Rose Bush With Health Canes

Maintaining a Disease Free Rose Bed

Also at this time, if there are still old leaves clinging to any of the canes, which is not likely, remove them because old leaves which have over-wintered may be disease carriers. These leaves should come off easily with a slight pull. Finally, spray the newly pruned bushes with a summer use fungicide. Do not apply any dormant sprays after pruning. The most common dormant sprays contain chemicals at concentrations that may damage the young buds that have already begun to grow. Many of this year’s disease problems are initiated when the buds first begin to grow, which they are probably already doing. Fungus spores which often over-winter on the canes and under the vegetative bud scales which cover the dormant buds can infect the bush as the buds begin to break, unless a preventative fungicidal spray is used. Spraying with fungicides should be repeated at 10 day to two week intervals during wet or damp weather to help maintain disease free bushes. 

Clean Out Garden Debris

How low should hybrid tea roses be pruned? Again, every experienced rose grower will probably give a slightly different answer. 

Three Categories Of Pruning

There are basically three general categories recognized for finished pruning height. The first is referred to as “hard pruning”. The illustrations at the right depict an average rose bush before pruning and after it has been “hard” pruned. When doing a hard pruning, the canes are cut back to a length such that there are only three or four buds on each of three to five canes. This will result in leaving only very sturdy canes about 5-12 inches long. Hard pruning is sometimes recommended for newly planted roses and is often used by exhibitors to promote the growth of exhibition quality blooms. The logic behind this is that the new canes which will grow from the old canes can be no larger than the ones from which they originated. So, if the new canes grow from very large canes, there is a good possibility that they will be large too. These larger flowering canes often produce larger flowers. Overall the result from hard pruning is larger but fewer flowers on the bush.

Hard Pruning

The second category is “moderate pruning”. The illustration at the right depicts the same plant after a moderate pruning. In this method, the canes are cut back to about 12-18 inches. Weaker than average canes need to be reduced by more than this amount. This is the recommended pruning style for most HT’s and floribundas in home gardens. This method of pruning will result in a bush that will produce more flowers and a bigger plant during the current season, but these flowers may be slightly smaller and the canes a little smaller than if the rose was given a “hard pruning”. 

Moderate Pruning

The third category of spring pruning is “light pruning”. The illustration at the right depicts the same plant with light pruning. In light pruning, the canes are cut back so that about two-thirds of their length still remains when the job is finished. Light pruning is not generally recommended because it often results in overly tall, spindly bushes in our climate area. These bushes will bear blooms earlier in the year, but the blooms will often be of poor quality and without stems suitable for cutting. The stems that are produced may have insufficient size to hold up the flowers. Among the hybrid tea roses there seems to be at least one exception to moderate pruning being the best practice. Peace roses and their descendants seem to perform better if given a light pruning. However, it is still wise to remove all the little and twiggy growth. 

Light Pruning & Climbers

The severity of pruning has less influence over the growth and flower production of the bush than we think, unless little to no pruning is done. When we have had severe winters in Portland, severe enough to have killed a majority of rose canes all the way to the bud union, (to the ground), we have had some of our best spring rose shows, indicating that the bushes have the ability to re-grow rapidly. When winters are mild to moderate, like the current winter has been (so far), many people are prompted to do only a light pruning on the roses since all of the canes are alive and sprouting. When pruning time approaches, there may already be a lot of leafy growth on the roses and this is very difficult for many novice rose growers, and others, to remove during the pruning process. These lightly pruned bushes will produce lots of growth from the ends of the relatively small canes. This new growth will tend to be small in diameter and much of it may be broken off by the spring rains or by the weight of developing flowers. So, do not be afraid that you will over prune. It is almost always true that pruning too hard will produce better results than pruning too little. 

NOTE: During any pruning take note of the color of the cut surface of the cane. It should be almost white. If the cut surface of the cane (stem) is brown it indicates that the cane has been damaged by the winter, and you need to cut it again a little lower until you find undamaged cane. It takes time for freeze damage to develop so it is possible that some healthy looking canes will need to be pruned again later in the spring. 

Climbers

'Stormy Weather', LCI Beautiful large flowered climber blooming in candelabra of purple blooms or do you call them mauve?
‘Stormy Weather’, LCI Beautiful large flowered climbing rose bush blooming in candelabra of purple blooms or do you call them mauve?

Climbers need to be pruned differently. If a climber is trained into a horizontal position, as illustrated in the diagram, the only pruning that should be done in the spring is to prune the laterals, the short upright shoots coming from the main canes. These laterals should be reduced in length by pruning such that only two or three bud eyes remain, which is usually about 2-4 inches. An alternate method is to completely remove the laterals. The rose will then produce new laterals from dormant eyes in the main cane. The areas of pruning are marked with slashes on the diagram. Also, any old canes that are detected as being unproductive (no vigorous growth being produced by them in the previous year) should be removed to ground level (the bud union). New canes should be trained by tying them into a horizontal position. Any additional pruning should be done only to shape the bush to fit the style that is desired and to keep it in bounds. Climbers are meant to be large so we leave a lot of healthy wood. 

Miniatures

All A Twitter Re-Potted | Mini Hanging Basket
All A Twitter Re-Potted | Mini Hanging Basket

Miniature roses are pruned in much the same way as hybrid tea roses, just on a smaller scale. Prune healthy canes back to 4 to 8 inches long and remove all the twiggy growth. Miniatures are very vigorous and will respond well to severe pruning by producing a number of new basal breaks, new stems originating from below the ground. You can prune them by shearing them if you like. 

Old Garden Roses | Bloom On Old Wood

At this time, OGR’s and other onetime bloomers should be only lightly pruned to shape and control their size and to remove old unproductive wood. More pruning can be done, but these rose types produce their blooms on old wood and removing additional wood now reduces this year’s blooms. Save any major pruning on these roses until the blooming cycle is completed. 

English Roses | David Austin’s

‘Abraham Darby’ by David Austin Roses

The English (David Austin’s) roses may be pruned like hybrid teas, but using the light to moderate pruning methods. Most of the English roses bloom on new wood, so pruning is done to produce a healthy base that can accommodate the current year’s growth just like HT’s, floribundas etc. Basically, if they grow like a climber, prune them like a climber and if they grow like a hybrid tea rose, prune them like a hybrid tea. I

In summation for any rose plant – remove all parts of the bush that are too small or weak to hold up the growth anticipated for this year and leave as much strong wood as you want, the more you leave the bigger the bush will be and the more flowers you will get. Portland Rose Society

This PORTLAND ROSE SOCIETY GUIDE TO PRUNING ROSES was reprinted with permission from Rich Baer of the PORTLAND ROSE SOCIETY P.O. Box 515 Portland, OR 97207

If you are interested in more information about the PORTLAND ROSE SOCIETY please visit their website www.portlandrosesociety.org for a calendar of events, membership information, upcoming events and about products available for their fundraisers.

11 Tips To Get Your Roses Ready For Winter

Oso Easy 'Paprika' by Proven Winners captured in a late fall bloom.

Jackson & Perkins ‘Sugar Plum’ in the Fall 

Gratitude For Late Bloomers

Fall is a time for reflection. Time seems to slow down. Even the clock falls back. This autumn in Illinois the leaves took on reflective hues that seemed to dance and play in a slow waltz as the inevitable drift toward winter. The whole process of fall color is fairly well understood, yet so complex the reason for it is less clear.

Veterans Honor
Veterans’ Honor

Suddenly this year as the days got cooler,

vibrant colors of gold, yellow, purple, red and brown began to emerge. The shimmering light of sunrise and sunset lit the forests as if they were bathed in liquid gold.

Most everyone thinks cool weather or frost cause the leaves to change color. Temperature can affect the autumn color and its intensity, but temperature is only one of many factors that play a part in painting the woods in glorious color.

This year we had a growing season with ample moisture that was followed by a dry, cool, sunny autumn that has been marked by warm days and cool but frost-less nights that provided perfect weather conditions for the brightest fall colors. Lack of wind and rain prolonged the brilliant displays until the recent strong storms across Illinois. This article includes a pictorial of the beauty of the autumn this fall.

Jackson & Perkins 2019 Yellow 08-00941 in the Fall 

With winter just around the corner here’s a simple and concise Tips For Winterizing Your Roses:

“TOP 11 TIPS”

FOR WINTERIZING YOUR ROSE GARDEN  

The blooming season comes to a close in autumn. During this dormant stage, take care of important gardening tasks, to ensure your next spring is as breathtaking as you always dreamed!

  1. First you want to prevent breakage of your rose canes from winter winds by reducing the height of your plants. Broken canes can be a source of entry for diseases. Waist height is a good rule of thumb. Leave your climbers tall but secure them because most climbers bloom ‘on established canes’. Prune climbers after the first bloom in the spring. You can shape your tree roses if they have small non-productive canes.
  2. Mulch, leaves and organic soil can be mounded around the base of rose plants to protect from winter freezes. Its important to protect the graft on budded roses.
  3. Shut down the timed irrigation systems for winter but remember in many zones your roses may still need to be watered during the winter.
  4. Move container plants that you can inside.
  5. Container grown plants should be moved closer to the house to protect against winter winds. See “Oui Built a Greenhouse for $142.oo” on www.gagasgarden.com
  6. The fall and winter months are the best time to go through the online catalogs I have listed on www.gagasgarden.com then order bareroot roses to arrive  January through mid-April.  Replace plants that are reduced to less than 3 healthy canes (pencil diameter), or with new and better varieties. Review the pictures on gagasgarden.com of the roses that you like and you can order them from online catalogs already.
  7. Dilute Lime-Sulfur with water and spray over entire bed including the ground.  This is very important to rid your garden of black spot spores that would harbor over the winter.
  8. The local Agricultural Extension Agency is where you obtain soil testing & evaluation. Then if needed apply lime to obtain a pH of around 6 to 6.5.
  9. Transplanting roses can be done successfully during this dormant stage.  Carefully prepare the new spot 16″ deep, enriched with cow manure and soil conditioner.  Placing spade 10″ from base of plant dig straight down into the bed in a circle around the plant, trying not to cut roots.  Lift the plant with the shovel and carry it directly to the new spot.  Fill in soil and cover the plant with a mound of mulch.  Water 3-5 gal.
  10. Autumn is the perfect time to prepare the soil for winter or spring planting. Turn over the soil 16″ deep and apply proper soil amendments to produce a light loamy mixture.
  11. Do a careful inventory of your equipment then clean, sharpen and oil shears and pruners to prepare for spring pruning.

    Veterans’ Honor in the Fall #MyJPRoses

Your Guide To Winter Rose Protection by Deb Kaiser

Let It Snow | Snow Provides Isolation for Roses

Winter in Minnesota is a force to be reckoned with. Rose Specialist of the Munsinger & Clemens Gardens St. Cloud, Minnesota, Ms. Deb Kaiser, has found a kinder gentler way to wrap it up. The following is a Guest Post by Deb Kaiser reposted by popular request. Deb talks about winter protection for roses in just about every zone, from cold hardy roses needing little to no cold weather protection to, Minnesota tipping, the most radical form of protection I know; so grab a cup of herbal tea and start a warm fire in the fire place and choose the best method to protect your roses for winter.  

Rose Specialist Munsinger & Clemens Gardens, Deb Kaiser
Rose Specialist Munsinger & Clemens Gardens, Deb Kaiser | Expert on Construction Blanket Cold Weather Rose Care Along With Jack Falker, The Minnesota Rose Gardener

Winter Rose Protection With Construction Blankets

by Deb Kaiser, Rose Specialist

With cooler weather in the forecast I have started to prepare my home rose garden, and the public rose garden that I work for, ready for what might be an early winter. In late August, I stopped fertilizing the roses with nitrogen. I deadheaded the shrub roses one last time. Now, I am letting them form rose hips and harden off for the winter. We have had lots of heavy rain this season. Much of it has been at night and our weather has been cooler, so blackspot has been a problem. I will continue to spray the roses every 2 weeks with a systemic fungicide Honor Guard (a generic for BannerMaxx) and Manzate fungicide both of which I purchase from Amazon

Jack Falker | The Minnesota Rose Gardener | Assisting Deb Kaiser With the Project
Jack Falker | The Minnesota Rose Gardener

So what can we do to help protect them from early winter temperatures and winds? One of the things that I am starting to do now is to feed the roses potassium, as a drench. I am following the recommendations of Twin Cities Rose Club member, Minnesota Rose Gardener, Jack Falker. Please see Jack’s August & October 2012 blogs on the potassium feast for roses at http://jack-rosarian.blogspot.com.

Good winter protection methods are a must for zone 3 and 4 Minnesota winters. There are three main functions of winter protection – to keep the temperature high enough to prevent winter kill, to keep the temperature low enough to keep the roses dormant, and to protect the roses from drying and withering of canes caused by winter sun and wind. So what roses need winter protection? I winter protect all tender roses that are not hardy to zone 3.

Which roses to protect and the winter protection method to use depend on the degree of hardiness of the variety of rose.

Easy Elegance 'Sunrise Sunset Rose'
Easy Elegance ‘Sunrise Sunset Rose’ introduced at the IGC Show in Chicago

Cold Hardy Varieties

There are many cold hardy varieties of old garden and shrub roses that need no additional cover. They include albas, centifolias, damasks, gallicas, species roses, rugosas, Explorers, Parkland, some Buck Roses, and most Bailey’s Easy Elegance roses. There are varying degrees of hardiness within the cold hardy roses. Tip hardiness is where there is minimal winter dieback out to the tips of the rose canes. My Jens Munk and John Davis shrub roses always come to mind when I talk about tip hardy roses. These two roses require no cover. Their long canes can be seen sticking out of the snow banks. In the spring, they are the first of my shrub roses to leaf out. Crown hardiness is when the rose dies back to the ground. In spring, the plant sends out new shoots at ground level. Addendum: ‘Polar Express Sunbelt’ Winner of Biltmore Rose Trials 2016

'Polar Express™ Sunbelt®' Rose Arborose® Collection | Single bloom shot taken of winning shrub Sunday, September 26, 2016
Spray of ‘Polar Expressâ„¢ Sunbelt®’ Rose Arborose® Collection shot taken of winning shrub Sunday, September 26, 2016

My Bailey’s Easy Elegance roses may do this. There are varying degrees of hardiness in between. With good mulch and snow cover, most of my Easy Elegance and Northern Accents roses die back to somewhere between tip and ground levels.Which roses to protect and the winter protection method to use depend on the degree of hardiness of the variety of rose.

Crown hardy roses need some mulch or other cover such as soil and leaves or marsh hay. Tender roses such as non-hardy (zone 5 and higher shrubs), hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas, minifloras, and miniatures need a good winter protection method.

'Double Delight' hybrid tea rose, pruned like a vase, fertilized, Canadian Spagnum peat moss layer added, ready for mulch for winter protection
‘Double Delight’ hybrid tea rose, pruned like a vase, fertilized, Canadian Spagnum peat moss layer added, ready for mulch for winter protection

Which roses to protect and the winter protection method to use depend on the degree of hardiness of the variety of rose. to use depend on the degree of hardiness of the variety of rose.

Winter rose protection starts with good summer rose care.

Winter rose protection starts with good summer rose care. Healthy plants survive the winter better — so water, fertilize, and spray for disease during the summer. Discontinue deadheading and using nitrogen fertilizer in late August to allow the roses to harden off for winter. Continue watering the roses into fall. Plant your tender roses in a sheltered location away from drying winds. Plant the bud union on grafted roses 2 to 4 inches below ground level. Choose varieties that are naturally hardy to zone 4 or less.

A winter protection method that is recommended for Minnesota winters, and was used at the Virginia Clemens Rose Garden in St Cloud, is the Minnesota Tip Method. Tender rose varieties are fatally damaged in temperatures below 20 degrees F. Late winter and early spring freeze and thaws can also cause damage. In 1954, Albert Nelson tried a method that he had observed raspberry growers using.

Construction Blanket Method

Minnesota Roses Mulched Pruned Knee High | Ready To Cover
Minnesota Roses Mulched Pruned Knee High | Ready To Cover

The method of winter rose protection that I have used at home for the past eight years and at work for the past five winters is to cover the rose beds with insulated construction blankets. In mid-October, I cut back the roses to a height of 8 inches.

Brick Holding Down The Construction Blankets

Next, the roses are mulched heavily with several shovel scoops of compost, covering the graft and extending 1-½ feet on each side of the plant. This year I added coffee grounds to my compost. When nighttime temperatures are consistently in the 30 degree F. range, I add rodent bait and cover the entire rose bed with R-value 7.48 insulated construction blankets.

Roses Covered With Construction Blankets | Held Down With Concrete Blocks and 2 X 4s
Roses Covered W/Construction Blankets Held Down With Concrete Blocks and 2 X 4s

This should be done before temperatures drop below 20 degrees F. Blanket edges and overlaps are bricked down tightly and closely with many bricks. Avoid leaving gaps where air can get in. The blankets look like two tarps sewn together with a thick bat of insulation in the middle.

The Munsinger & Clemons Gardens Mulched and Blanketed
The Munsinger & Clemons Gardens Mulched and Blanketed

The blankets come in two sizes – 6 foot wide by 25 feet long and 12 feet wide by 25 feet long. The shiny side of the blanket should face down toward the ground.

A method of winter protection that I use for overwintering potted roses is to put them in my attached garage. I spray the plant with fungicide and water it well. Next, I put it in a heavy weight, black garbage bag.

I tie the bag loosely to avoid mildew due to moisture build up. The roses are stored, off the floor and away from drafts in an unheated garage or room with temperatures between 20 and 40 degrees F. In spring, I start removing the rose covering around April 1st. Rose coverings such as leaves, marsh hay, and soil, should be removed in layers as it thaws. About April 15th, I check to see if the soil is thawed enough to raise tipped roses to an upright position without damaging them.

Construction Blanket Covered Minnesota Roses Uncovered Showing Green in March Zone 3b as They Are Uncovered
Construction Blanket Covered Minnesota Roses Uncovered Showing Green in March Zone 3b as They Are Uncovered

After the roses are tipped up and secured firmly in place, water the canes several times per day to avoid drying out from spring winds. Once buds form, fertilize the roses with a balanced rose fertilizer. Prune the roses after buds form and the plant is actively growing. Spray the roses regularly with a fungicide after leaves form

*This is the Minnesota tip method of protecting garden roses from the University of Minnesota.

“The “Minnesota Tip” is one of several proven methods for protecting roses against early freezes in the fall, the bitter cold of winter and the dangers of thaw-freeze cycles in the spring.

Protecting roses for the winter really begins with the work done during the summer. Bringing the roses into the fall season in the best of health is the first step in winter protection. Soon after the middle of October, preparation can begin for tipping the roses. Follow these steps when using the “Minnesota Tip” method for protecting roses during winter and early spring.

diagram of a tied up bushFigure A

diagram showing parts of the tied up plantFigure B

diagram of the plant underneath the groundFigure C

  1. Water generously one or two days prior to tipping to keep the soil in a moist, workable condition.
  2. The day before tipping, give the plants a good dormant spray such as a liquid lime-sulphur material.
  3. Tie the rosebush canes together to allow easier handling.
  4. Avoid pruning the bushes. Open wounds on the canes may not heal properly, as cold weather can inhibit the formation of a protective callus.
  5. Dig a trench, starting away from and working toward the base of the bush. The trench should be as long as the bush is high. The width and depth should easily accommodate the bush or bushes. Pull the soil away from the shank (i.e., the root stock area between the bud union and the main branching of the root system) to facilitate tipping the rose. A spading fork is helpful for loosening the soil around the roots.
  6. When the trench is ready and the roots of the bush are loosened, use a spading fork to push the bush into the trench (Figures A and B). Use the spading fork to hold the bush down while covering it with 2 or 3 inches of soil. If the soil removed in digging the trenches is not enough, add soil from the annual garden or elsewhere (Figure C).
  7. Cover the soil with about 18″ of loose leaves or other covering such as marsh hay.

Minnesota Tip Method. Starts In Late October

He tipped his roses and covered them with soil. This method of winter rose protection later became known as the  It was first demonstrated at an ARS Convention in Omaha in 1966.

The Minnesota Tip Method starts in mid to late October before temperatures drop below 20 degrees F. Spray the roses with a dormant spray such as Lime Sulfur or fungicides such as BannerMaxx and Manzate. Clean up the rose beds, removing dropped leaves and mulch, and remove diseased leaves on the plants to avoid overwintering of disease. Do not prune until spring, as pruning encourages new growth. Tie up the rose canes with orange poly twine, leaving a long tail. This makes the roses easier to tip and bury. The orange twine is easier to see when digging up the roses in the spring. Long lanky canes can be trimmed to make tying easier. Use pruning sealer on the cuts. Using a shovel, dig a trench as long as the rose is high, and wide enough to fit the tied rose. More than one tipped rose can be laid in the same trench. Use a spading fork to pull away the soil from the shank of the rose (below the bud union and above the roots) and loosen the soil around the plant. Dig carefully to avoid damaging the plant or its roots. Use the spading fork to push the rose into the trench. REMEMBER – only the roots bend. Pull more soil away from the shank to make it easier for the roots to bend. Hold the rose down while you cover it with 2 to 3 inches of soil. Add soil from other areas of the garden, if needed to cover the rose. Water the rose beds well to prevent winter drying of roots and canes. After the ground has frozen, cover the rose beds with 2 to 3 feet of leaves or marsh hay. Place several tin cans of rodent bait under the covering to prevent damage from chewing animals. Water the covering well to prevent fire and hold the covering in place. Loosely bagged leaves or insulated construction blankets can also be used as a covering.

Another method of winter rose protection is mounding up the base with 9 to 12 inches of soil. Use a wire cylinder to hold the soil in place. Don’t trim the rose unless necessary. Stuff the cylinder with leaves or marsh hay and cover the entire bed with a 2 foot depth of leaves or marsh hay. Water the rose bed well.

Pictures below is a shrub rose protected with leaves and boards.

Note: The American Rose Society does not recommend the use of rose cones for zone 3 and 4 winters

Easy To Love | Easy To Grow |Roses

Pretty Lady Rose
Pretty Lady Rose

An Easy To Love |  Easy To Grow | Rose Garden

“Roses Are For Every Garden” at  The Chicago Flower & Garden Show, interview with

What Jodie Henke of Living the Country Life radio (a Meredith, Better Homes & Garden property) will air across the U.S., on

85% of folks say roses are their favorite flower. They want easy-to-grow roses. Rose breeders are listening to YOU! Each year there are better minimal care roses available that you can have great success with. Here are some of the  Conard Pyle Star Roses and Weeks Roses, that I researched and have personally grown. I included them because of their beauty and ease of care. Star Roses and Weeks Roses supplied the roses for the Chicago Flower & Garden rose garden his year and last year  had been planned to be at the show. They are minimal care roses bred for their easy to grow qualities. I can vouch for their high degree of success in the garden. Christian Bédard told us ‘Pretty Lady Rose’ may be the best rose he’s ever bred and I can tell you its at the top of my list for perfection.

Living The Country Live Radio on 300 stations in 39 states.

Check Here for  Living The Country Live Radio Stations in Your area

Hybrid Teas Roses | Americas Favorite Flower

Hybrid tea roses are perfect for any rose garden. They are perfect for cut flowers and creating our own bouquets. A hybrid tea is easily identifiable by their large shapely single flower blooms on long stems. Here are a few of the very best hybrid teas that are true winners.

‘Pretty Lady Rose’ New 2016 | Weeks Roses 2nd in their The Downton Abbey Series

  • Dark even rose pink almost fuchsia
  • 4-5 “ Large old fashioned ruffled petals
  • The smell of peonies with a hint of spices

'Francis Meilland'
‘Francis Meilland’

‘Francis Meilland’ 1996

  • Color: Very large shell pink flowers
  • Winter hardy disease resistant
  • Winner of Biltmore International Rose Trials Best Hybrid Tea
  • Strong fruity and citrusy fragrance

Award of Excellence Best Established Rose | Bred by Dr. Walter E. Lammerts (United States, 1954).
Award of Excellence Best Established Rose

‘Queen Elizabeth’ 1954

  • Pink 4” with large petals, and pointed buds
  • Moderate rose fragrance
  • Won ‘Best Established’ Rose at The Biltmore International Rose Trials when I was a judge in 2015

For Hedge and Borders I love Shrub roses because they grow from 5 to 15 feet in every direction based on your climate and growing conditions.

'Watercolors Homerun'
‘Watercolors Homerun’

‘Water Colors Home Run’ by Weeks Roses

  • 3 colors showy flame red | yellow gold pink blush | Hot Pink
  • Medium height and bloom size
  • Winter hardy and disease resistant

'Drift® Chamboeuf'
‘Drift® Chamboeuf’

‘Drift®’ Groundcover Roses by Star Roses and Plants

  • 8 colors from White Drift Rose to Red Drift Rose
  • Blooms 1 ½” -3” bushes about 2 feet tall spreading
  • Winter hardy, disease resistant, and easy to grow.

Bonica, Shrub rose always the first to bloom in the spring in my Texas rose garden
Bonica, Shrub rose always the first to bloom in the spring in my Texas rose garden

Bonica® – Shrub

  • The Bonica rose has been voted the World’s Favorite Rose in by the World Federation of Rose Societies and an All-America Winner
  • Pastel pink, 3” blossoms, about 5’ tall spreading
  • Slight fragrance

For containers you can plant Miniature or miniflora roses known for novelty and versatility.

Some of the most beautiful and hardy are:

'All a Twitter'
‘All a Twitter’

‘All a’ Twitter’

  • Twinkling brilliant orange
  • Tall, medium size blooms
  • Winter hardy

‘Be My Baby’

  • Incandescent pink
  • Large round blooms, medium tall
  • Fragrance mild tea 

‘Sunblaze®’ Miniatures by Star Roses and Plants

  • All colors from amber-to yellow, vigorous, disease resistant, winter hardy.
  • 12-18 inches compact
  • Slight fragrance

For walls, fences, and pergolas we want climbing or rambling type roses for their unique long arching canes, and their ability to climb fences, over walls, through trellises, arbors, trellises.

‘Above All’

  • The old classic ‘Westerland’ raised modernized with 21st century ‘best-off-best’ qualities!
  • Salmon-orange blend, repeat blooming, 10-14 feet
  • Old fashioned, 3 ½”-4” blooms, fruity fragrance

Bee on Fourth of July Climbing Rose Bush
Bee on Fourth of July Climbing Rose Bush

‘4th of July’

  • Gorgeous Red striped and bright white
  • 10-14 feet canes
  • Fresh cut apple and & sweet rose fragrance

‘Pretty in Pink Eden’ or ‘New Dawn’ (Light pink)

  • All qualities of highest rated, award winning rose ‘Eden Climber’ also known as ‘Pierre de Ronsand’ only deep pink
  • 10-12’ with gorgeous very double blooms 70-80 petals
  • Vintage rose fragrance, vigorous and disease resistant 

Floribundas

Beautiful Roses for the garden known for their profusion of bloom are floribundas. They bear flowers in large clusters and trusses with large clusters of and trusses. This class is unrivaled for providing massive colorful lasting garden displays that are hardier, easy care and more reliable in wet weather than their hybrid tea counterpart.

'Bolero' blooming as a perfect heart in nature
‘Bolero’ blooming as a perfect heart in nature

‘Bolero’

  • White, large blooms with 100 petals
  • Old rose and spicy fragrance
  • Bushy and about 3 feet tall

'Julia Child' by Weeks Roses featured this shot of 'Julia Child' in The American Rose Society 2014 Calendar
‘Julia Child’ by Weeks Roses featured this shot of ‘Julia Child’ in The American Rose Society 2014 Calendar

‘Julia Child’

  • One of the top selling roses in the world
  • Butter/gold color, medium very full 3-4” blooms
  • Strong licorice fragrance

'Easy Does It' by Weeks Roses with Rain Drops, a vision of perfection
‘Easy Does It’ by Weeks Roses with Rain Drops

‘Easy Does It’

  • Gorgeous Mango Peach
  • Ever blooming with a moderate fragrance
  • Disease resistant, one of my all time favorites!  

Be sure and join us at The Chicago Flower and Garden Show. This is only the 2nd year we will have roses blooming in March in a rose garden setting in Chicago at Navy Pier. We’ll have American Rose Society Consulting Rosarians there to answer your rose growing questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Rose Protection With Construction Blankets by MN Rose Specialist Deb Kaiser

Rose Specialist Munsinger & Clemens Gardens, Deb Kaiser

Rose Specialist Munsinger & Clemens Gardens, Deb Kaiser
Rose Specialist Munsinger & Clemens Gardens, Deb Kaiser, Expert on Construction Blanket Cold Weather Rose Care, With Jack Falker, The Minnesota Rose Gardener

Winter in Minnesota is a force to be reckoned with. Rose Specialist of the Munsinger & Clemens Gardens St. Cloud, Minnesota, Ms. Deb Kaiser, has found a kinder gentler way to wrap it up. The following is a Guest Post by Deb Kaiser.

Let It Snow | Snow Provides Isolation for Roses
Let It Snow | Snow Provides Isolation for Roses

Winter Rose Protection With Construction Blankets by Deb Kaiser, Rose Specialist

With cooler weather in the forecast I have started to prepare my home rose garden, and the public rose garden that I work for, ready for what might be an early winter. In late August, I stopped fertilizing the roses with nitrogen. I deadheaded the shrub roses one last time. Now, I am letting them form rose hips and harden off for the winter. We have had lots of heavy rain this season. Much of it has been at night and our weather has been cooler, so blackspot has been a problem. I will continue to spray the roses every 2 weeks with a systemic fungicide Honor Guard (a generic for BannerMaxx) and Manzate fungicide both of which I purchase from Rosemania.

Construction Blanket Covered Roses
Construction Blanket Covered Roses

Winter Rose Protection With Construction Blankets by Deb Kaiser, Rose Specialist

With cooler weather in the forecast I have started to prepare my home rose garden, and the public rose garden that I work for, ready for what might be an early winter. In late August, I stopped fertilizing the roses with nitrogen. I deadheaded the shrub roses one last time. Now, I am letting them form rose hips and harden off for the winter. We have had lots of heavy rain this season. Much of it has been at night and our weather has been cooler, so blackspot has been a problem. I will continue to spray the roses every 2 weeks with a systemic fungicide Honor Guard (a generic for BannerMaxx) and Manzate fungicide both of which I purchase from Rosemania.

Jack Falker | The Minnesota Rose Gardener | Assisting Deb Kaiser With the Project
Jack Falker | The Minnesota Rose Gardener

So what can we do to help protect them from early winter temperatures and winds? One of the things that I am starting to do now is to feed the roses potassium, as a drench. I am following the recommendations of Twin Cities Rose Club member, Minnesota Rose Gardener, Jack Falker Please see Jack’s August & October 2012 blogs on the potassium feast for roses at http://jack-rosarian.blogspot.com.

Minnesota Roses Mulched Pruned Knee High | Ready To Cover
Minnesota Roses Mulched Pruned Knee High | Ready To Cover

Good winter protection methods are a must for zone 3 and 4 Minnesota winters. There are three main functions of winter protection – to keep the temperature high enough to prevent winter kill, to keep the temperature low enough to keep the roses dormant, and to protect the roses from drying and withering of canes caused by winter sun and wind. So what roses need winter protection? I winter protect all tender roses that are not hardy to zone 3.

Goose Girl in Snow
Goose Girl in Snow

Which roses to protect and the winter protection method to use depends on the degree of hardiness of the variety of rose. There are many cold hardy varieties of old garden and shrub roses that need no additional cover. They include albas, centifolias, damasks, gallicas, species roses, rugosas, Explorers, Parkland, some Buck Roses, and most Bailey’s Easy Elegance roses. There are varying degrees of hardiness within the cold hardy roses. Tip hardiness is where there is minimal winter dieback out to the tips of the rose canes. My Jens Munk and John Davis shrub roses always come to mind when I talk about tip hardy roses. These two roses require no cover. Their long canes can be seen sticking out of the snow banks. In the spring, they are the first of my shrub roses to leaf out. Crown hardiness is when the rose dies back to the ground. In spring, the plant sends out new shoots at ground level.

Easy Elegance 'Sunrise Sunset Rose'
Easy Elegance ‘Sunrise Sunset Rose’ introduced at the IGC Show in Chicago

My Bailey’s Easy Elegance roses may do this. There are varying degrees of hardiness in between. With good mulch and snow cover, most of my Easy Elegance and Northern Accents roses die back to somewhere between tip and ground levels.

Roses Mulched and Partially Covered
Roses Mulched and Partially Covered

Crown hardy roses need some mulch or other cover such as soil and leaves or marsh hay. Tender roses such as non-hardy (zone 5 and higher shrubs), hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas, minifloras, and miniatures need a good winter protection method.

Roses Covered With Construction Blankets | Held Down With Concrete Blocks and 2 X 4s
Roses Covered w/Construction Blankets Held Down With Concrete Blocks and 2 X 4s

Winter rose protection starts with good summer rose care. Healthy plants survive the winter better — so water, fertilize, and spray for disease during the summer. Discontinue deadheading and using nitrogen fertilizer in late August to allow the roses to harden off for winter. Continue watering the roses into fall. Plant your tender roses in a sheltered location away from drying winds. Plant the bud union on grafted roses 2 to 4 inches below ground level. Choose varieties that are naturally hardy to zone 4 or less.

A winter protection method that is recommended for Minnesota winters, and was used at the Virginia Clemens Rose Garden in St Cloud, is the Minnesota Tip Method. Tender rose varieties are fatally damaged in temperatures below 20 degrees F. Late winter and early spring freeze and thaws can also cause damage. In 1954, Albert Nelson tried a method that he had observed raspberry growers using.

The Munsinger & Clemons Gardens Mulched and Blanketed
The Munsinger & Clemons Gardens Mulched and Blanketed

He tipped his roses and covered them with soil. This method of winter rose protection later became known as the Minnesota Tip Method. It was first demonstrated at an ARS Convention in Omaha in 1966.

The Minnesota Tip Method starts in mid to late October before temperatures drop below 20 degrees F. Spray the roses with a dormant spray such as Lime Sulfur or fungicides such as BannerMaxx and Manzate. Clean up the rose beds, removing dropped leaves and mulch, and remove diseased leaves on the plants to avoid overwintering of disease. Do not prune until spring, as pruning encourages new growth. Tie up the rose canes with orange poly twine, leaving a long tail. This makes the roses easier to tip and bury. The orange twine is easier to see when digging up the roses in the spring. Long lanky canes can be trimmed to make tying easier. Use pruning sealer on the cuts. Using a shovel, dig a trench as long as the rose is high, and wide enough to fit the tied rose. More than one tipped rose can be laid in the same trench. Use a spading fork to pull away the soil from the shank of the rose (below the bud union and above the roots) and loosen the soil around the plant. Dig carefully to avoid damaging the plant or its roots. Use the spading fork to push the rose into the trench. REMEMBER – only the roots bend. Pull more soil away from the shank to make it easier for the roots to bend. Hold the rose down while you cover it with 2 to 3 inches of soil. Add soil from other areas of the garden, if needed to cover the rose. Water the rose beds well to prevent winter drying of roots and canes. After the ground has frozen, cover the rose beds with 2 to 3 feet of leaves or marsh hay. Place several tin cans of rodent bait under the covering to prevent damage from chewing animals. Water the covering well to prevent fire and hold the covering in place. Loosely bagged leaves or insulated construction blankets can also be used as a covering.

Another method of winter rose protection is mounding up the base with 9 to 12 inches of soil. Use a wire cylinder to hold the soil in place. Don’t trim the rose unless necessary. Stuff the cylinder with leaves or marsh hay and cover the entire bed with a 2 foot depth of leaves or marsh hay. Water the rose bed well.

Pictures below is a shrub rose protected with leaves and boards.

Roses Covered With Construction Blankets | Held Down With Concrete Blocks and 2 X 4s
Roses Covered With Construction Blankets | Held Down With Concrete Blocks and 2 X 4s

Note: The American Rose Society does not recommend the use of rose cones for zone 3 and 4 winters

The method of winter rose protection that I have used at home for the past eight years and at work for the past five winters is to cover the rose beds with insulated construction blankets. In mid-October, I cut back the roses to a height of 8 inches. Next, the roses are mulched heavily with several shovel scoops of compost, covering the graft and extending 1 ½ feet on each side of the plant. This year I added coffee grounds to my compost. When nighttime temperatures are consistently in the 30 degree F. range, I add rodent bait and cover the entire rose bed with R-value 7.48 insulated construction blankets. This should be done before temperatures drop below 20 degrees F. Blanket edges and overlaps are bricked down tightly and closely with many bricks. Avoid leaving gaps where air can get in. The blankets look like two tarps sewn together with a thick bat of insulation in the middle. The blankets come in two sizes – 6 foot wide by 25 feet long and 12 feet wide by 25 feet long. The shiny side of the blanket should face down toward the ground.

A method of winter protection that I use for overwintering potted roses is to put them in my attached garage. I spray the plant with fungicide and water it well. Next, I put it in a heavy weight, black garbage bag.

I tie the bag loosely to avoid mildew due to moisture build up. The roses are stored, off the floor.


Potted roses can also be laid on their sides and covered with insulated blankets or trenched and buried.
and away from drafts, in an unheated garage or room with temperatures between 20 and 40 degrees F.

Construction Blanket Covered Minnesota Roses Uncovered Showing Green in March Zone 3b as They Are Uncovered
Construction Blanket Covered Minnesota Roses Uncovered Showing Green in March Zone 3b as They Are Uncovered

In spring, I start removing the rose covering around April 1st. Rose coverings such as leaves, marsh hay, and soil, should be removed in layers as it thaws. About April 15th, I check to see if the soil is thawed enough to raise tipped roses to an upright position without damaging them. After the roses are tipped up and secured firmly in place, water the canes several times per day to avoid drying out from spring winds. Once buds form, fertilize the roses with a balanced rose fertilizer. Prune the roses after buds form and the plant is actively growing. Spray the roses regularly with a fungicide after leaves form.