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What you need:
  • Chicken wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Wooden stakes
  • Pruning shears
  • Shovel
  • Leaves or straw
Many bush-type roses such as hybrid teas, floribundas and grandifloras require winter protection where temperatures drop below zero. (Even in milder climates, some protection is a good idea.) But they can survive colder winter weather if properly prepared. Begin by pruning the plant in late fall (after the weather has turned cold but before the ground freezes) to a height and spread of 18".
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Mound 8-12" of bark or compost over the base of the plant, being sure to cover the crown and bud union.
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Fashion a hardware cloth or chicken wire cage 18" in diameter and at least 18" high. Wrap it around the plant. To hold the cage in place, attach it to stakes pushed into the ground around the perimeter of the cage.
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After the ground freezes, fill the cage with straw or leaves. Oak or beech leaves work well. Maple leaves are not as good because they tend to mat down when they get wet, smothering the rose.
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Cover the top of the cage with additional wire, plastic or burlap to keep the mulch inside from blowing away. As weather warms in spring, gradually remove the winter protection, starting with the cage, then slowly removing the leaves. Finally, at about the time the forsythias bloom, pull back the mound of compost. Prune away dead or blackened canes.