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Southern California Regional Reports

August Rose Pruning for Southern California

Encourage a fresh flush of bloom in October with a late-summer pruning

Photo: Francesca Corra

Most information you find about rose pruning is generic for all growing zones. What everyone waits for is the threat of frost to pass after the dormant season. The cuts expose tender plant tissue that is vulnerable to disease and damage. Pruning also induces new growth to push, and any new growth that is damaged by frost could potentially damage the whole cane.

I prune roses (Rosa spp. and cvs., Zones 3–9) in January. If I wait much longer, the plants can already show new growth, and I feel horribly guilty cutting it away. This is the typical hard and thorough pruning that is done in all zones. The main goals of this pruning are to reduce plant size, open up the center for air circulation, and promote outward growth. How much you reduce depends a lot on what type of rose you are pruning, its age, where in the…

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