Rose Bush Protection

Dear Expert: What’s the best way to make sure my rose bushes make it through the winter and come back strong next year?

Protect tender roses (such as hybrid teas, grandifloras and floribundas) by using a method called the Minnesota tip. Dig a trench next to the rose at least 4-6 inches deep and wide. Tie your rose canes together, and with a pitchfork, loosen the roots so the plant can be tipped over into your newly dug trench. Cover with the soil. When the ground is frozen, add a deep layer of straw or hay over your roses. This should protect your roses against early freezes in the fall, the bitter cold of winter, and the dangers of thaw-freeze cycles in the spring.

—Debbie Lonnee
Horticulturist, Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association