Rosebush Winter Kill

Zone Ottawa Canada | frb821 added on May 19, 2014 | Answered

I purchased a home with some beautiful Rose bushes last year and not knowing until they did not bud this spring did not perform any preparation for winter. I live in the cold climate and I fear that they may not have made it through the past coldest winter in 20 years. Only one of the smaller bushes are showing any sign of life with the stems at the ground level turning green. The rest look dead. It it a fore gone conclusion that that they perished, or do I wait a little longer?

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Answered on May 19, 2014

I would say to give them some time yet. I live in a cold climate area too and many years I have to prune my rosebushes down to within an inch of the ground surface due to the winter die back. Usually it is a matter of pruning them down to 2 inches or so of the ground surface at best here. Until we get some consistent 40+ degree nights the ground has not warmed up enough yet to get them to take off. Once we hit the consistent 50 degree nights things really take off. To give the rosebushes a bit of a "kick start", I give each rosebush 1/2 cup Epsom Salts (mini roses 1/4 cup) and scratch that into the soils well. Then using a big watering can, water each of the roses with some water that has a good Root Stimulator and a product called Super Thrive mixed into the water. You add each of them to the water in the watering can as if each were the only additive in the water. This works well for me.

Stan The Rose Man
Consulting Rosarian
Gardening Know How

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