When should I uncover my roses in the spring?

When do I uncover my roses in the spring? I have rose cones on some and mounds of soil around the base of others. Also, does it depend on the type of rose it is?

The type of roses you have determines if winter protection is required. Many species roses, shrub roses, old roses, miniatures, and climbers, as well as some of newer hybrid teas and floribundas need little protection. Since you indicate they are all protected in one fashion or another, I will assume they are varieties non-hardy to zone 5. That being said, you do not want to uncover protected roses until any chance of hard frost is past – in Michigan we can have frost until Mother’s Day. Rose cones can be removed on sunny, warm days to prevent moisture accumulation inside. Check from time to time for new growth at the base and uncover the plant slightly as new growth appears, but be prepared to cover (at least lightly) in the event frost is predicted. Prune away winter-killed canes to healthy wood when the winter protection is removed for the season.

Some general rose culture notes to keep in mind: In southeastern Michigan, grafted roses should be planted with their bud union 4 to 6 inches below the ground surface. Roses grown on their own root stocks are typically hardier than grafted ones. Many roses have been developed that are quite winter hardy and do not need protection much past their first year. Good cultural care is also important for winter hardiness. Adequate water and fertilizer throughout the growing season combine to produce healthy plants that better withstand Michigan winters. Finally, roses should not be pruned after September 1 in order to allow the plants to properly harden off.