Wrapping Roses for Overwintering*


Hope you enjoyed thanksgiving.

How tight can the weave be, if I wish to reuse fabric to wrap around roses similar to burlap? Is the material which women’s nylons are made of too tight a weave?
I enjoy recycling, and that’s part of the challenge of gardening, instead of purchasing which is too easy, and just adds to clutter and the need to organize and store. I’m not good at retrieving and organizing, but like to solve the garden problems, and I dislike shopping.
Reusing keeps things out of the landfill, and stimulates my mind.


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your enquiry.

The following previous post on the Toronto Master Gardener web site describes in detail how to protect your roses from our cold and often unpredictable winters.

You will see that you do not need burlap or women’s nylon stockings for this process, only soil and natural materials from your garden.

Cut back hybrid tea, floribunda and grandiflora roses to about 18″ to avoid wind damage and possible upheaval of roots in strong winds. After the ground has frozen, hill up the soil to cover the crown where the graft is located. Use friable soil left over from an annual basket or retained in a warm place (e.g. garage). Do not use manure or compost. Once the soil is frozen cover with more soil, damp sawdust, leaves or hay. Chicken wire or plastic collars can be used to hold the mulch in place and provide further insulation. Cut up conifer branches, laid around the crowns of roses, will also act as an insulator by holding the snow in place and minimize the possibility of rodent nesting in the mounds.

All shrub roses including David Austin roses can be cut back to about 2 or 3 feet. For climbing roses, secure or remove branches to avoid possible wind damage. Most miniature roses are hardy, but consider hilling up with soil.

I am sure you will find other uses to recycle the fabrics you no longer need.