How to Care for a Weeping Rose Tree
A weeping rose tree, or rose standard, is comprised of several roses grafted together along a central stalk or cane. Rose branches then flow out of the top of the cane and hang down toward the ground. A weeping rose tree is a gorgeous addition to any backyard garden but cannot handle freezing temperatures in the northern parts of the United States. To maintain these beautiful ornamental roses, the gardener must plan for the plant's needs and protect it from the elements. The primary concern is caring for these plants is preventing wind damage in the early spring and preparing the plant for winter as they do extremely poorly in freezing and thawing conditions.
Prepare your weeping rose tree for winter with a plant cage and a lot of mulch. Weeping rose trees are particularly sensitive to freezing and thawing and should be kept in containers or in a climate where freezing occurs less often. To protect your weeping rose in a freezing climate, keep it in a container.
Wrap the plant in chicken wire or in a plant cage. Use twine to attach some of the heavier branches to the cage. Fill the area around the base of the plant and the cage with new mulch to protect the plant from the elements. Covering the entire cage with a sheet or blanket to keep the plant warmer can help prevent winter damage.
Cut the twine and remove the plant cage after the last hard freeze of the spring. Gently shake off the mulch and remove it from the weeping rose tree's container. Be sure to remove all mulch, as it may harbor pests or fungus that can damage your plant.
Place the container in an area where it can receive six or more hours of direct sunlight per day. Secure the container to the ground to prevent tipping by wind, animals and neighborhood children.
Stake the cane of the weeping rose tree, placing the stake as close to the cane as possible. Secure the cane to the stake using twist ties or garden twine.
Fertilize the weeping rose tree twice a year and prune in early fall to retain the shape and promote growth the following season. Any general purpose 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 fertilizer is appropriate, but you may want to consider adding extra nitrogen if you use an organic mulch around your rose tree. Pruning is done primarily to retain the shape of the plant, but you may wish to deadhead the vines during blooming season as a means to promote more and fuller blooms.
- Chicken wire or plant cage
- Pruning sheers