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How to Use Rose Cones

By D.C. Winston ; Updated September 21, 2017

Rose cones are helpful garden tools that allow you to easily protect and then free your rose plants from effective protection from winter cold and winds. Resembling a traffic cone with a slightly weighted bottom and small side holes for ventilation, rose cones are simply set atop pruned-back rose canes in the winter after the first hard frost. They can be removed and replaced when spring weather changes, can be used from year to year and stored easily in the corner of the garden shed.

Prune back rose canes just enough so that they fit inside the cone when loosely bound without bending. Refrain from pruning at this point as it will only place the rose under more stress.

Wrap the canes together loosely just enough so that they slide up into the cone without being bent.

Put the rose in place after the first hard frost when temperatures drop to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. If your cone does not have air holes, cut out the tip of the cone and plug the hole with straw to allow some airflow and heat release during warmer days.

Fill the inside of the cone with straw or leaf mold if you are in very cold climates or growing hybrid teas or another cold-sensitive cultivar.

Anchor the lower lip of the cone perimeter with gravel or stones to keep it from being knocked or blown off.

Remove the rose cone in spring during the day when temperatures have warmed above 25 or 30 degrees, but replace the cone at night or when temperatures dip and/or frost is anticipated.


Things You Will Need

  • Garden twine
  • Secateurs
  • Gravel or stones
  • Straw
  • Leaf mold