Question From: J. Day - Anchor Point, Alaska, United States
Q: I wintered 3 rose bushes on my enclosed deck over the winter. (Alaskan winter, so cold temperatures, though not below 0) All had bright green stems in the spring. The one we were wintering for someone else came back quickly and full. With my two, the stems started browning from the tops. One of them sprouted leaves from one stem, but the rest appear dead. The other bush, (my rock and roll rose...my favorite) has not sprouted anything. The green is fading and it as well is browning from the tips. We were going to re-pot it but the soil and roots look healthy. Both of mine had spider mites in the fall. Not sure if this caused them to be too weak to winter over. I took two stems from the rock and roll rose that were still bright green in the hopes of cloning it, but am not confident they will do anything. Any advise to help this plant or future bushes would be greatly appreciated. One additional note. The plant that came back the best was trimmed down in the fall, while my two were trimmed in the spring.
Roses overwintered in pots should be in dark areas to prevent freeze thaw that will kill them. If the shrubs were weak when they went dormant they may not have stored enough food to get going in spring. Probably a combination of problems. Best and Happy Yardening, Nancy