Tea Rose Died Over Winter
We planted a tea hybrid last year. It did not do well and died over winter. I pruned to see some mealy stems. I think it's planted too low. Should I dig it up now? Plus, I did not know to water it during winter.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Generally, you would plant the grafted roses with the graft at least two inches below the finished grade line around the bush, and in colder regions mound at least 6 inches of soil for additional protection. If a rose bush is not doing well before it goes into the winter, it is probably not going to come back the following spring, even if you had watered it. If you are in a warmer location and nothing is going on with growth yet, it might be best to dig it up and plant a new rose bush there. Amend the soil with some bagged garden soil and compost. Put some super phosphate (1/4 cup) in the bottom of the planting hole. Just before the rose bush goes in to winter, give it another two or three tablespoons of super phosphate and work it in well around the base. This will help keep the root system strong. About mid season as part of your feeding program, give it 1/3 to 1/2 cup of Epsom Salts too, which encourages new cane growth.
If the canes you can see are still green, give it some time to get going.