My 4 (different kinds) of rose bushes already have lots of new shoots this spring, but now the temperatures are predicted to be well below freezing for several days next week. Is there anything I should do to protect the new growth?
Your question is a very good one, and one which I am sure many gardeners are asking before this coming freezing weekend temperatures.
According to the Royal Horticultural Society, tender leaf shoots and buds can be severely damaged by a sudden onset of below freezing temperatures and should be protected with a frost blanket, available at most garden supply centres. With roses, the buds on the lower branches (assuming they were pruned back in the fall), will be the producers this summer. A heavy layer of mulch, soil or leaves will provide protection and should then be removed when all danger of frost has passed.
Your rose may experience some dieback at the tips, but hopefully, if protected, will not succumb to our fluctuating spring temperatures. Just remember not to touch any frozen bud or leaf, as you will damage the cell structure.
Good luck and we wish you a very floriferous summer!