Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Say "No" to the Cone: Winter Rose Care

During this time of getting our landscaping ready for the winter, rose care comes to mind. We become acutely aware of it when we stroll through the hardware store and home improvement places and see rose cones stacked to the ceilings.

The Rose Cone; somebody’s great idea that should have stayed in their mind and not have seen the light of day.
What!! You may be thinking. My mom used Rose Cones, and my Grandma before her.

In theory the rose cone makes sense. But in practicality it creates problems.

First let me say, you do not have to cut a rose down in preparation for winter. We think we do; but that was only to get it to fit under the cone.

Second, and more importantly, the part of the hybrid rose that needs protection is where it is grafted to the root; this spot is its Achilles heel. It’s not that it can’t take the cold temperatures; it just can’t take the quickness of the freezing and thawing throughout the day. Slow this down and everything is fine.

The Cone was invented thinking that the whole rose needed protection; but time revealed that just the graph was vulnerable. But the Cone lives on.

The problem with the cone is that during January thaws and early spring warm ups, the temperatures under the cone climb to dormancy breaker levels; causing the rose to start leafing out long before the real spring temperatures arrive.
Many times someone will peek under a cone in February to fine a fully leafed out Rose stiff as a board.

My advice is to mound composted topsoil up around the graph so it covers it to a depth of 4 to 5 inches. This will slow the freezing and thawing to very acceptable levels, and keep the top exposed so as to not prematurely break dormancy. When spring does come just remove the soil, or spread it around under the plant.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. Or like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping. 

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