Consulting Rosarian Tips for November:
Every winter I fret over the proper time to winter protect my
raised bed of hybrid teas, floribunda, and grandiflora roses. I know if the
winter is mild and nighttime temperatures have not been 20 degrees or below for
three consecutive nights, I will do the winter protection at the Stock Show
time, no later.
November 2014 was a different situation. Weather during the
fall had been beautiful and many of our roses were still blooming. Weather
forecasters had a cold front coming, but really missed on how long it would last
and how cold it would be. Unfortunately, beginning November 10th, temperatures
plummeted and the cold continued through year-end, frequently sub-zero at night.
The damage was done. The roses were frozen before dormancy.
In early January there was 6 inches of snow on the ground and
the forecast was for warmer weather. I wanted to KEEP THE COLD IN THE GROUND to
help the roses stay in dormancy. The rabbits had been eating the leaves and
pruning the canes to 3-4 inches above the snow. I stripped the remaining leaves
from the plants, and pruned the canes to fit inside our rose cages. I put sulfur
down for general sanitation, piled on compost, and shoveled in snow from the
lawn to keep the compost from blowing.
In late April I removed the roofing felt and compost. Only
three of the twelve roses looked healthy. The canes had large splits caused by
being full of moisture and subjected to very low temperatures before they were
dormant. There were a lot of black and sad looking canes, I pruned the dead
ones. The remaining nine roses were very weak, with minimal growth if any. Then
there was a freeze on Motherís Day, and another the last week of May. We ended
up losing Julia Child, Fame, Peace, Liviní Easy, Miss All American Beauty,
Sparkle and Shine, and Sevillana. One surviving rose that surprised me was
Mister Lincoln. I did not realize it was on its own root but it successfully
recovered from its rootstock.
This fall is setting up similar to last year. We are going
into November with no significant freezes and roses still in bloom. In
hindsight, slowing down rose growth earlier in the fall might be beneficial.
Thought should be given to doing the second major feeding of alfalfa and kelp in
July rather than August. This would fit most show schedules and promote growth
earlier rather than later. Water curtailment could begin earlier in the fall as
well, to keep the soil moist into winter but not stimulating growth with
excessive water. Deadheading just below the blossoms should perhaps begin
earlier as well. There is little that can be done to force roses into dormancy
against their will, so letís just hope and pray that we donít have a November
like last year.
For rose questions, contact
Rosarian in your area.
Roses in Review
Every year, the American Rose Society
conducts a survey of roses and how they grow in gardens around the
nation. The national results will be published in a future
edition of the American Rose Society magazine. The results for
the Rocky Mountain District (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah and
Wyoming) are available now! The first file contains the
results sorted by variety, classification, garden rating and
exhibition rating. The second file contains the comments
provided by the reviewers.
The book, Growing
Roses in Colorado, published
by the Denver Rose Society is a "must have" for those who want to grow beautiful
Get a glimpse
Growing Roses in Colorado.
Available at area garden retailers and gift shops. For
wholesale inquiries please contact Betty Cahill at
Retail locations that sell the