In New Mexico, winter temperatures are not harsh enough to kill most roses, but high mountain regions need additional protection. In any area, sudden, unseasonable temperature changes and frosts can damage tender spring growth. To protect your new plants from subzero temperatures, bank them with soil, or mulch them with straw. This will hold the soil in place throughout the winter. However, it is important to remove the banking in the spring, or the mound may lose its protective ability.
In most areas, winter protection is necessary for all types of garden roses. The extent of protection required depends on the climate and the type of rose. Many hardy roses can survive the coldest winter temperatures in their growing zone. In order to protect the plant from the cold, the main goal of winter protection is to maintain uniform cold temperatures for the entire plant. In the event that one part of the plant remains too warm or too cool, it will suffer the consequences.
The use of organic mulch is beneficial to your roses in a variety of ways. It keeps the soil moist and cool and helps control weeds. It also reduces watering frequency, so you don’t have to water it as frequently as you might for other plants. Avoid mulching against the stems of your roses. Instead, mulch them around the base of the plant, forming a basin for watering.