Roses are perennials that grow back every year, but in order to properly thrive, they need to have a period of dormancy in the winter which can be achieved using styrofoam rose cones. Though roses do not need to be kept warm during the winter like many other plants, they do need to be kept at a constant cool temperature. In areas with harsh winters, it is especially important to keep roses protected, and using styrofoam rose cones can help. These cones, which vary in size, sit on top of your rosebushes to protect them from harsh winds, snow and ice. Follow these tips to successfully cover your roses with styrofoam rose cones.
Though it may be tempting to cover your roses in the fall when you're doing your year-end garden maintenance, you must wait until after the first frost to cover them. In order for roses to go into dormancy, they need to be cold. Covering your roses prior to a frost can trap heat and trick your roses into thinking they should still be growing. You should also avoid pruning your roses at this time, as that should be done in the spring.
After the first frost, create a foot-tall ring of loose soil around the base of your rosebush. This soil should be from outside of the garden, as you don't want to dig up existing soil and harm the rose's root system. Once you've created the circular mound, gently lower the rose cone over the rosebush and push it down to secure its placement.
Once you've done this, cut a couple of one inch holes on the sides of the rose cone. These will allow your rosebush to be well ventilated and prevent heat from being trapped inside on sunny winter days. Finally, put a few bricks or a heavy rock on top of the cone to prevent it from moving.