March is Garden Madness at Maymont!

March 11, 2014 at 7:26 pm Leave a comment

Horticulture Volunteer Pruning RosesThe days are ticking by, and despite the erratic wintry weather, spring will be here soon.  At Maymont, the Horticulture staff is busy pruning the roses, getting the last of the ornamental grasses cut down, cleaning up the perennial borders, spreading mulch and making those final pruning cuts on trees and summer flowering shrubs, like Butterfly bushes.   Rose pruning is a task that should not be procrastinated. Getting the canes cut back before bud break is ideal but if that cannot be achieved, then prune as soon as possible.

Roses, except climbing roses, need to be cut back annually to a bud along the cane that faces outward. Typically two-thirds of a plant is removed at this time unless the bush is very small or in poor health. Deadwood is removed along with any diseased wood. We put a dab of white glue on each fresh cut to protect the cane from the Rose Cane Borer.  Throughout the season, roses should have their dead flowers removed by clipping above the first five-leaflet leaf found down from the spent flower.

Please note that climbing roses are not pruned in the same manner as shrub roses, they are pruned to direct the growth of the new canes by cutting only canes that need to have their growth redirected.  To do so make the cut above a bud facing in the direction you want that cane to grow. It is important to remove all deadwood from climbing rose bushes to reduce disease and insect problems.   I encourage you to clean your clippers with 91% Isopropyl rubbing alcohol, don the gloves, and start pruning so you can enjoy the roses come May!

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