Q. Should I mulch my roses in the winter?

Answer

The roses at NYBG are mulched with pine bark mulch. Finely-shredded, pine bark mulch creates a nice thick blanket that doesn't get matted down into large clumps. Keep the rose watered up until the time the ground freezes. Mound the mulch around the base of the rose to a depth of about 6  inches in the late fall as the soil freezes. This is what we do to protect the soil for our roses in the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden.

In the spring, six weeks before the last frost date, remove most of the winter protection. Leave just a small pile of mulch around the canes. Two weeks later, after the roses have adjusted, clear off the remainder of the mulch and top-dress the roses with compost or (even better) well-aged manure.

Mulch is a stabilizer. It insulates the ground to keep temperature fluctuations minimized which reduces stress on the plant. It also holds moisture in the soil and keeps weed growth down. Shredded organic mulching material breaks down gradually to add texture and nutrients to the soil.

For more information on common rose questions and problems, see our Guide to Rose Problems and for more about caring for roses in the winter see Winter Preparation for Roses..

Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service

  • Last Updated Dec 01, 2021
  • Views 6
  • Answered By Leslie Coleman

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