Using Mulch to Protect and Insulate

Mulching provides valuable nutrients, as well as an insulating layer that will protect roses during cold snaps. A 2" to 3" layer is sufficient in most areas.

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    • Soil Amendment

Soil conditions can vary greatly and become depleted of nutrients over time. If your soil has a lot of clay, a mulch can help with drainage to discourage water sitting at the roots. If your soil is sandy, mulch will actually help to retain water. Mulch helps to aerate the soil, keeping air moving which is important in the fight against disease.

    • Water Conservation

Mulch can help to conserve up to half of the water in your rose beds. I is also effective in reducing the temperature of the soil from by up to 20 degrees. This becomes very beneficial, if not crucial, during the hot summer months. Areas that are prone to drought conditions, can greatly benefit from using mulch.

    • Weed Control

No one likes weeds in their rose garden. A nice thick layer of mulch will actually help to fight weeds and cut down on the maintenance needed to remove them. Existing weed seeds will be buried too deep below the mulch to germinate. Any weeds that may pop up towards the surface of the mulch can easily be removed as they are not rooted into compacted soil.


    • Disease and Insect Control

Mulch may control some insects and fungal diseases in your rose beds. For example, mulch can reduce the splashing of fungal spores such as Blackspot off hard ground surfaces and back up onto the rose plant.

  • Types of MulchThere are various types of mulch which can be used for roses. You can buy large bags of mulch at garden supply centers and nurseries. This type of mulch will reduce soil compaction, plus provides extra nitrogen.

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    • Bulk Mulch: If you have more than 50 rose bushes, you might want to consider buying your mulch in bulk from a local soil company. Gromulch can be purchased in bulk container boxes from home improvement stores and some nurseries.
    • Shredded newspaper is probably the least expensive type of mulch, although it is not particularly attractive. You can also lay down entire sheets of newspaper, if you anchor the edges with moist soil.
    • Compost is one of the most beneficial types of mulch. Starting a small compost pile in your backyard can be very effective. Dried organic materials such as leaves, grass clippings, newspaper and coffee grounds make a wonderful mulch.
    • When and How Much to Mulch the Garden
      You can apply mulch to your roses any time of year but it is best in early spring and then again in late summer to early fall.. A 2” layer would be considered the minimum application, but a thicker application will need to be applied less often. We suggest a layer of 2”-4” for best results.