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Roses are plants, too!

Ten Rose Pruning Tips

Photo/Illustration: Paul Zimmerman Roses
Photo/Illustration: Paul Zimmerman Roses

Pruning time is upon us and while we’ve talked about pruning in previous posts it’s always good to review a things.  I though we’d get started with ten tips!


Ten Pruning Tips


If you can, spend them extra money for good tools.  They are easier to work with and will last a lot longer; making them cheaper in the long run.  


Let the way your rose grows determine how you prune.  Some roses annually put out new canes from the base.  You can prune these harder.  Some, like the old Tea roses, take time to build up a structure and reach their size.  These need a lighter hand. 


Always start by pruning out dead wood.  Why?  Because it’s dead and you can’t make a mistake.  Gets you warmed up!


Take out weak or damaged growth.  Just trust your gardener’s instincts to recognize branches that aren’t full of vigor.  This also better helps you see the plants structure. 


Never worry about making a mistake.  It’ll grow back.


With Garden Roses don’t worry about outward facing bud-eyes and five leaflet leaf sets.  Just prune to strong, healthy growth at your desired height.  And if you don’t know what a five leaflet leaf set or a bud-eye is don’t worry about it.  You don’t need to.


Don’t try to keep a tall rose short.  It won’t be happy.  If you want a rose in a particular spot to be short than plant a short one!  As a rule of thumb don’t reduce the height of most garden roses by more than 1/3. 


Every now and then you will take out an old cane that no longer produces growth and blooms.  We label that kind of cane “bloomed out”.  Take it out at the ground level and you’ll be amazed at the new growth you’ll see in spring.  Fresh growth equals more blooms!


Pruning isn’t just for “pruning season”.  Feel free to shape your roses all season long like you would any other plant in your garden.  While you are deadheading is a great time..


In the end trust your gardener’s instincts.  You know what you are doing so do it!

We’ve prepared some videos for you on our website and we advise you view you them in order.  And as always feel free to ask us a question on our rose forum


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