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Discussion id : 17-845
most recent 8 APR 07 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 8 APR 07 by Susan Jayne
We've had below freezing temps the last couple of nights and I think my rose bushes have been harmed. The new growth is leaning over. What should I do? Prune them back again, leave them?
Discussion id : 7-260
most recent 13 DEC 04 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 13 DEC 04 by Erin Evans
Just bought a new house with terrible drainage. Previous owner planted many roses on the property that are suffering. Don't know how long they have been there. They are spindly and bare. I'd like to save them, but . I plan to improve drainage on the property soon by installing an underground system of pipes, but I would like to know if there's any hope for the roses. Anything I can do? Like digging them up, putting them in good soil pots, etc. Should I bring them in or mulch them now for the winter (I'm in zone 7)?
Thank you,

Erin Evans
Reply #1 of 1 posted 13 DEC 04 by Lyn G

I have never grown roses in zone 7, so the answer I am about to give is based on plant theory and you will have to adjust this advice based upon your own experience.

If the soil freezes and stays frozen, I don't think you need to dig them up until spring because, in a sense, the drainage problem is solved by the frozen soil. However, if the ground does not freeze and stay frozen, it sounds like drastic measures are call for in this situation. Your new roses have been drowning and the root system has not been able to provide the plant with the necessary nutrients to survive. This why you are seeing splindly top growth on the plant.

If your soil does not freeze, yes, I think you should dig them up and put them in pots or a raised bed where you can control the water to the roots. You are going to need to put them into the largest pots/nursery cans you can find because it is wise not to damage what root system remains viable to the plant. Also, roots on roses do continue to grow even when the plant is dormant. You'll want to give them as much room as possible to recover.

If you cut the root system back so that it is smaller than the top growth in the process of digging them up, please bring the top growth down to an equal size. The roots of your stressed roses cannot support plant growth that is much larger than the root system.

Place the containers in a place where they do not get bright sun as this will encourage new top growth. Do not feed these roses anything more than a 0-10-10 fertilizer. You do not want to add any nitrogen to the plant soil at this time of year which will encourage new top growth. This means that you do not even want to use organics right now.

If you have any questions about how to winter protect the roses once they are in containers, please feel free to contact me.

With Regards,

Lyn Griffith
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