The Minnesota Tip Method for roses

Mon. Nov. 16, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: The Minnesota Tip Method for roses

Developed here in the north for those gardeners who just love fussy roses!  (I’ll stick to shrub roses, carpet roses and generally those that don’t require protection!)

Carpet roses – 7th year

There are a number of gorgeous roses, however, including grandifloras, floribundas and tea roses that we’d love to keep.  It’s a proven record for the best results at winter protection.  It does require some time and effort. Here’s more information from the Minnesota Rose Society.  This year, it’s past time for this method, but it’s one to remember if you have the time.

For this method, loosely tie together your rose canes (by the way, don’t prune your climbing or rambler roses now, if you do you won’t get spring flowers).  Dig a trench from the base of the plant outward.  You need it long enough and deep enough to accommodate the plant.  Use a garden fork or spade to gently loosen the soil around the plant.

Tip the plant over and lay it in the trench.  Be careful to bend the roots not the stem!  You don’t want to break that graft!  Cover the plant with soil.

Once the soil freezes,  likely sometime in mid-December, mulch with a thick layer of straw.  Use chicken wire or hardware cloth to keep the mulch from blowing away.  Gradually start removing the protection in early April.   I really want to emphasize that you need to let the soil freeze over your rose plants before mulching them.  You can also rake a bunch of dry leaves around your roses.  I’m talking about 3 feet worth of gently packed leaves.

Keeping your plants watered well up till the ground freezes is the best thing you can do.  If they enter winter healthy, they’ll most likely survive it.  So, a couple days before you plan on “tipping” your roses, water them well.

Don’t prune your roses.  Wounds may not heal well.  Dig a trench as long as your rose is tall.   If your ground is hard, soak the soil first before trying to tip the roses…

‘Music Box’ rose from Bailey Nursery. 2020. I’ve had this rose for 7 years and haven’t covered it at all