View Full Version : question about roses

04-14-2002, 01:24 PM
I just found out this board was here. It's amazing how we get stuck on one board, and don't even notice when a new one comes on.

Okay, here's my question. Right now, in Colorado, things are just beginning to wake up. We planted rose bushes last Spring, and they grew great all summer. We have never cut them back. When do I do this, and where do I cut. They are about 3-4 feet high. I don't think they have started to grow again this Spring. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

04-14-2002, 02:40 PM
It really depends on the type of rose what pruning is appropriate. Early spring is a great time to do rose pruning.

If these are shrub type roses, then cut away dead branches, prune off canes that are entangled, cut off spindly stems (generally those thinner than a pencil) back to a junction with a larger healthier cane and then to give the plant an overall full, rounded shape, cut off 1/3 of the overall length of the longer canes.

If these are Modern Roses (upright), then cut off dead canes and those more than 4 years old at the bud union. Again, remove canes that are entangled and those that are spindly (see above). Thin out any canes that are growing towards the center of the plant. Make all cuts at a 45 degree angle about 1/4 inch above an outward facing bud. Next you have a decision to make. Do you want fewer large showy flowers or more abundant but smaller blooms? If you want large showy blooms you need to do a hard pruning. Hard pruning means removing all but three or four very healthy canes, and pruning them so that they are no more than a foot long. If you want more abundant but smaller blooms, a more moderate pruning should be done. Moderate pruning is done by leaving six to 12 canes at about 1/3 of their original height, or 1 to 2 feet.

Climbers and ramblers require similar treatments. Cut away old, woody, canes and remove all weak or diseased canes. On repeat bloomers, prune out the oldest canes, keeping three or four vigorous young ones. Trim the longer canes back to provide a uniform effect to the plant.

Hope this helps.

04-14-2002, 04:08 PM
Thanks so much, I really don't know exactly what you're talking about. But I will print this out and give it to Stephen. He is the gardener, I just weed and mow. I appreciate your specific advice.