Planting Roses In A Sheltered Location

By: Marshall Clewis

How many Roses did you lose last winter? How many more are borderline cases - weak looking and with a lot of die-back when you start to prune them, but still with a bit of life left, so that as you go over them you decide to let them remain, on the slim chance that they may "grow out of it"? (Chances are that if they do, they will not give you many good flowers before autumn.)
In such a situation there are three things you can do now!
The first is to select additional varieties that are really cold resistant and then get them planted at the earliest possible moment.
The second is to plant your roses in a more sheltered location, or in a better one, if they were exposed.
The third is to resolve to provide better protection next fall than you did last. That is a matter to make a note of for the future: not much you can do about it at the moment.
If you live in a really tough climate, you would do well to rely chiefly on roses which have been bred primarily for resistance to injury from low-winter temperatures. Such are the sub-zero race with varieties that include many bush roses of hybrid-tea type which have good form and a fair range of colors.
It is true that they are not, as a group, "show" roses with the almost unlimited spread of colors available in modern hybrid teas, but they are unusually hardy. In fifteen years of rose growing we have never lost any Brownell rose. Most of them, too, are much more resistant to black spot disease, which weakens many of the general run of hybrid teas and thus makes them more susceptible to winter injury.
Some standard-type hybrid teas that have stayed with us for many years, with occasional temperatures of 15 to 20 below zero. All varieties are fragrant, and all are distinguished for their dark, leathery foliage.
Of course, there are many, many others. Information on the winter-hardiness of new varieties may be gleaned from the American Rose Society.
Floribundas as a class, have with us, proved even hardier than the hybrid teas. Our varieties a come back vigorous and smiling, year after year.
Most shrub roses that have notable tolerance against rose pests are extremely hardy. The rugged hybrids, have with stood decade after decade of the worst buffeting winter and have responded well to rose pest solutions.
Undue exposure to winter conditions, including late winter winds, should be avoided if you want your garden roses to come through uninjured. Poor drainage is another cause, often unsuspected, of winter injury. In planting, avoid locations which provide such hazards.
And in spring planting, or replanting, there are other dangers to be guarded against. These are the possibility of high spring winds and strong spring sun drying out the canes before the roots have become established; or of a late, hard frost killing back the soft new growth. Hill up well with soil, to a height of 6 inches or more, any rose bush set out in early spring, removing the soil again gradually as growth develops.

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