Thursday, January 8, 2009

Roses and Winter 09

BRRRRRRR. Is what my roses are saying this winter. Here is what you are all wanting to know!

Will my roses survive the Vancouver area winter of 08-09?
If they die will the nursery replace them due to a record cold temperatures, snow and wind?

I'll let ya work that one out yourself..wink..

We are in the middle of a long cold winter by Vancouver area standards and that makes it far too early to tell how bad winter loses will be this year. My gut feeling is that some of the more tender hybrid tea roses will have some heavy die back or perhaps total die back. Some climbers will die back but after a hard pruning they will bounce back in a season or two. The Old Garden type and hardy shrub style roses will have very little winter damage, they seem to laugh at the cold and the David Austin roses although more hardy than most Hybrid Teas may have some die back. Ask me in a month or two for a full report on the winter of '09!

One thing I do know is that we will be doing some very heavy pruning of roses this spring! That can be a good thing as it cleans up disease and insect problems and gives way to a nice shapely new rose bush! As long as you have a healthy, strong growing rose, most can bounce back from a pruning down to almost the crown level. Every variety of rose is slightly different but have faith that you will enjoy some of your favorite roses again next spring and enjoy the idea of replacing some of them with better, new varieties!

We will spend more time talking about this winter and how to tell if a rose cane has completely died in future blog postings.

Remember a few things about winter:

Wind, Sun and Cold in tender late growth is what causes most winter damage to plants including roses.
Snow cover is an excellent insulator against cold and the heavy amount we have had is helping protect your plants.

Cold long winters are nature's way of killing of disease and insects but we have to offer a few plants in sacrifice.

Without rain there can be no sunshine and without winter there can be no spring!

Ps. I leave for Hawaii Jan 17, wowowow. I'm sooo outta this winter wonderland. Ha!


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