How to winterize my Playboy tree roses for winter here in Kalamazoo,MI

Ann S
by Ann S
I got this these this summer & they have done great. But not sure what I need to do to protect these beauties, please help someone! Plus, they are still blooming as of today with more still coming.
My 2 Playboy tree roses.
  16 answers
  • I would definitely protect them in your area for winter. I would make a cage around it and wrap it with burlap to protect it from winds and may want to put about a foot of soil around the base. What zone are you? if 5~ you get too cold you may want to dig them up and pot them for overwinter in garage.
  • Linda Linda on Oct 26, 2013
    I'd just pair them up with a few playgirls! Only kidding. Happy Halloween. ~Little Leaf~
  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Oct 27, 2013
    Both C Renee and Rhonda are right. Tree roses, especially in colder zones require some extra TLC to survive the cold. The website Rhonda suggested is loaded with excellent suggestions, although that's first time I've seen using dormant oil on roses. But it makes sense, given the nature of tree roses and the need to add additional insulation around them. They are lovely, btw.
  • Ann The best way and easiest way is to make your beloved tree roses container grown and bring them in before the hard freezes and keep their roots above freezing to keep the plant dormant but not frozen. Many people in your zone do this with Japanese Maples as well. Tree roses are actually grafted (the trunk is many times a multifloral rose or common stock rose while the flowering top is the beautiful hybrid rose you buy) and are very sensitive to cold and many of the diseases that affect roses such as rose canker. The above mentioned method of trenching is what many seasoned gardeners do and requires you to dig a trench and dig around the root ball and lay the rose in the trench and then cover it with a mound of soil. If you are too rough you can break off the graft or other stems. This method can cause rose canker and is not easy to accomplish without stress on you and the plant. Now if you do not want to do all that and want to take a chance, then I would build a very insulated structure out of sytrofoam and burlap around your rose (you must defoliate the rose first!) and it looks like they are in a protected spot. When it snows, and I assuming you may get a lot of it) take the snow and pile it around your structure to help keep in warmth. It is taking a chance but gardening is sometimes about taking a chance. good luck and happy gardening.
  • Ann S Ann S on Oct 27, 2013
    I did find this but it seems like a lot of work, wow. Wondering if I insulate the bottom with the piping stuff & build a little shed over it, which could be reused every yr & fill with hay if that would be good enough.
  • Ann S Ann S on Oct 27, 2013
    Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas.
  • Ann S Ann S on Oct 27, 2013
    Hubby will not dig it up either.
    • @Ann S Men are like that LOL Yes tree roses and anything grafted in your cold region are work but the beauty is worth it. Mound up dirt around the base at least and cover and insulate with your discovery. But make sure to take off leaves and blooms before you do.
  • Ann S Ann S on Oct 27, 2013
    Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas.
  • Vicki Langstaff Vicki Langstaff on Oct 27, 2013
    I think you should do the cage (chicken wire) around them & then burlap or some type of tarp. I have roses & have not had any die (knock on wood) but no tree roses & I am in the U.P. of Michigan. I don't cover any of mine.
  • Vicki Langstaff Vicki Langstaff on Oct 27, 2013
    They are beautiful by the way.
  • Christina Butinski Welch Christina Butinski Welch on Oct 27, 2013
    My friends dig up their tree roses every year right after the first frost and store in their basement until spring. Other than fencing in and packing leaves around them, then burlap, I wouldn't know of any other way to protect those beauties.
  • Jeanne Nelson Jeanne Nelson on Oct 28, 2013
    I have two beautiful hydrangea trees in large pots that I am concerned about getting through our Utah winter. The nursery suggested getting bags of steer manure and lean them against the pots to create heat for the trees. Also mulch and water monthly through the cold. This would work for your rose trees as well.
  • Merri Jo Merri Jo on Oct 28, 2013
    I live in zone 5a--northern Illinois. I have 2 tree roses (in 2 separate beds) and I hill up the root area with a few inches of a mix of compost & shredded leaves. I cut back any remaining blooms & bud sets. Then after a few hard frosts, my husband pounds in 5 or 6 stakes around the base that are at least 6 inches taller than the top of each plant. I then make a tent by weaving burlap in & out & around the stakes, until I've wrapped it 2-3 times. Then I dump leaves we raked from our yard to fill the burlap & cover the rose. This year will be the 4th year, & my trees are thriving & beautiful! I purchased the burlap 3 yrs ago with a 50% off coupon at Joann fabrics & reuse it every year. The first yr I bought really cheap bamboo sticks, & most of them broke by the second year. I now have some plastic covered metal stakes from Home Depot.
  • Jean DeSavage Jean DeSavage on Oct 29, 2013
    Ann, I have a new this year Japanese maple that I plan to put a plumbing type foam tube around the trunk, which leaves a bit of space for oxygen to the trunk. Then I plan to put wire mesh around that so critters can't get to it. I will do the burlap/post wrap and will fill it with crumpled newspaper and leaves. I hope to have a lot of insulation to keep the tree healthy over the winter.
  • Ann S Ann S on Nov 15, 2013
    @Merri Jo , so far I bought insulation piping & put in on the trucks of the 2 plants. I put plastic wrap all around the onion of the 2 of them. Then I staked & fenced them, put burlap around that & put straw in them. Then hubby is using 4 post & peg board putting at an angle a roof over top of them so the snow won't be able to break them by its weight yet will let them still get water, if that makes since. I gotta believe this is enough to protect my 2 beautiful babies that I totally enjoyed this yr watching them re-bloom all the time.
  • Sally Pomerantz Sally Pomerantz on Sep 26, 2014
    Are you all saying there is no need to prune back rose bushes or cover for winter? My first rose garden and don't want to loose any.
    • Therese Ryan-Haas Therese Ryan-Haas on Nov 04, 2014
      @Sally Pomerantz Depends on the rose. She has a tree rose where the graft is at the top.(Rosebushes are budded or grafted onto the rootstock of another rose. Basically, a bud-eye is taken from the desired rose plant, such as Peace, and grafted to the stem of a growing rootstock plant, below the bottom set of leaves. After the bud-eye produces adequate growth, the top of the rootstock plant is cut away entirely, leaving Peace growing on the roots of the understock.) Most do not need cut back. Some bloom better on old wood, like Climbers. Most do just fine with their graft at ground height are covered with mulch or leaves and a light pruning. Here is a good sheet to keep handy.