Take Time to Prune the Roses

March 10, 2015 at 8:29 pm Leave a comment

Rose Pruning 045 smaller

The winter weather has made this year’s rose pruning at Maymont quite challenging, but with the warmer temperatures this week, we finally have started the process. Here are a few tips to consider before you prune your own roses.

Before grabbing the clippers and heading to the garden, first take the time to clean your pruners and sharpen them. Sharp pruners make clean pruning cuts, and clean clippers prevent the spread of disease. At Maymont, we disinfect our clippers with 91% isopropyl rubbing alcohol between each bush.

Another important step before starting to prune is to identify your rose bush as a climber, a hybrid tea, a floribunda or a bush rose. Is it an old garden rose or a modern rose (a cultivar introduced after 1860)?

Different groups of roses are pruned differently. Old garden roses are pruned after they bloom. For climbing roses, just remove the deadwood along with any canes that are rubbing one another. Bush roses, representing the polyantha roses, knock-out roses and drift roses, are pruned by removing two thirds of the plant at this time of year. The hybrid tea and floribunda roses are pruned to one third the size to a bud facing away from the center of the bush; this will open the plants in the center to allow better air circulation.

The purposes of pruning a rose bush are 1) to eliminate dead and diseased rose canes and 2) to increase flowering. Roses flower on new growth with the exception of the climbers. As mentioned above, climbing roses are pruned differently since they bloom on canes more than one year old.

Now, start pruning your bush roses, and a bounty of beautiful rosebuds will be here before you know it!

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