Rose Bushes Damaged:Winter Care


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I have had a couple of rose bushes the past 2 years and they used to be really big and full of flowers. Over the summer I noticed a rabbit had been eating them. The longest stem on one is maybe 15" tall and the other one altogether the stems are maybe 6" due to this rabbit. Virtually no leaves left on them, and the bigger one has no flowers at all. I put chicken wire fence around them and the rabbit hasn't been able to get them again. But my questions are, what can I use as a better solution to keep rabbits away, (besides killing the animal) and now that it's almost winter in Michigan, should I give extra care and cover to these rose bushes to ensure they won't receive a lot of damage from the cold season, or do you think they won't make it?
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Welcome to the forum!

Sorry to hear about your rabbit problem, that must be frustrating. The best way to keep them away is exactly what you've done - ie a physical barrier. If you want a different option that looks better, how about a cat?! :D

In terms of winter care, I would make sure they are well mulched around the base.
 
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Shout out from a fellow Michigander, and welcome. :)

Sorry, I'm not that knowlegeable about roses but certainly a layer of compost and extra mulch can only benefit your rose bushes. As to the rabbit, I guess if you see one, there are more around so killing it might now do much good. I don't know how effective deterrents are, such as fox urine or whatever you sprinkle around.
 
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We had roses in upstate NY (zone 6) and each year I'd put a wire surround at least half-way up the bush and fill it with leaves. One, it got rid of some leaves, and two, it provided protection for the roots and stems. You might want to try it. Make sure the leaves are dry when you fill the cages--the top leaves will get wet with snow and rain, but the ones closest to the ground and the stems will stay relatively dry, which is a good thing.
Dwatted wabbits! We had to fence in our seasonal garden because they were eating all my greens, the beans, and chewing on the basil (wouldn't you know we'd have gourmet rabbits!).
 
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I have 6 cats. And they take care of those things. But baring that, you could spray your roses with red pepper spray, that would burn their little mouths, but they would run away and survive. Take the red pepper mix with little water and spray on plant. Shame you don't have a good owl around, they catch those things to eat also.
 
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I live in the city and wild rabbits are plenty too. I used to plant easy growing vegetables such as cucumbers, green peppers, green beans, and tomatoes. The rabbits and the squirrels always beat me to the feasting.

Sorry to hear that they are responsible for your rose bush :)
 
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