Middle South

October, 2003
Regional Report

Trim Hybrid Teas

Trim hybrid tea, floribunda, and grandiflora roses to remove diseased limbs and faded blossoms, but wait until the plants become dormant to begin hard pruning. Pruning too early can force out new growth that will be killed by winter's cold.

Plan Winter Protection

Plan now to provide winter protection for the graft union at the base of grafted roses, as well as the latent buds on low branches. Chicken wire cages stuffed with clean wheat straw work well, or you can mound pine straw over the base of dormant plants.

Collect Rose Hips

Need an excuse to go for a walk in the autumn woods? Take along a small container and collect rose hips from wild roses, many of which are invasive plants anyway. At home, rinse the hips clean, pat them dry, and then string them with a needle and thread before hanging them in a cool, dry place.

Dry Petals for Potpourri

To make the last roses of summer last through winter, dry the petals in a box or pan for several days before storing them in airtight containers. Red and dark pink petals dry better than light-colored ones, which show more bruises and brown spots.

Compost Old Mulch

To interrupt the life cycles of black spot and other fungal diseases, gather up old mulch from your rose garden and compost it. Replace it with fresh pine straw or wheat straw, both of which are now in good supply.

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