Rose Buzz: Tips on Rose Pruning

IMG_1674First tip: DON’T BE AFRAID TO PRUNE.

I’ve made countless “mistakes” through the years and the roses always forgive and come back!

You are basically looking for the 3 Ds …

Dead, Damaged and Diseased Canes

IMG_4327 2

These tips are best for those who live & grow in my zone 5b.

Here in the midwest, it is  difficult to know when winter is really over and it is time to prune. For many years, I have let the forsythia tell me. When the forsythia is blooming, I start pruning. This year a huge cold snap came after the forsythia bloomed, blowing that theory.😁

Today I have seen rain, sunshine and have even heard hail pinging the window.❄️ #notthenorm  MOST of the time, the forsythia plan works.

Tools of the trade…

For this task, you will need to wear protective gloves and have a sharp pair of pruners. My choices are Bionic Gloves and Barnel Pruners from Wendy Tilley, owner of The Rose Gardener Garden Shop and Harlane Garden Labels.

Pruning tips for different types of roses…

Hybrid Teas: For hybrid teas, cut out any dead wood and remove the canes that cross the middle to create more air circulation in the center of the plant which can help control fungal disease. It is also good to look for the “dinky” canes. Ones that are too puny to hold up a rose. These roses I will cut back to about 10 – 12″ high to give them a strong start. Note: After a hard winter you may have to go lower … you are looking for a cane with a cream center without brown. Some years I have had to trim down to a couple of inches. Occasionally I lose HTs from winter kill but not very often.

Note: “Where the cane is black, it is NOT coming back!” Remove the black!

One of the scary terms in rose pruning is “outward facing bud eye.” BUD EYE …. what is that! 😱 A bud eye is simply the swollen area where the leaf joins with the stem and a new cane is formed.

All that means is to cut down to the tiny bud that is on the outside of the cane. Why? It is going to grow outward! If the bud is on the inside of the cane, it is going to cross the middle of the shrub. Keeping the middle more open allows more air circulation. This is helpful especially for the roses that are more susceptible to fungal diseases.

For Hybrid Teas you want to end up with 3-5 of the strongest canes to start your new growing year.

1205_1

 

Gemini HT
Gemini HT

Old Garden Roses and Rugosas: To me bigger is better as far as old garden roses are concerned. Seriously, they not only don’t need a lot of pruning, they don’t like it. For one-time blooming roses, unless the wood is dead, do not prune until after they bloom! And, when you prune, just remove the dead and spindly canes and do a bit of shaping.

Queen of Bourbon
Queen of Bourbon

 

Roseraie de la Hay Rugosa
Roseraie de la Hay Rugosa

David Austin English Roses: I find very little pruning is required as they don’t appreciate a lot of cutting. Just remove dead or diseased wood, canes that cross the middle and give them a light shaping.

The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild from last summer. Amazing David Austin!
The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild from last summer. Amazing David Austin!

Shrubs & Landscape Roses: These are so easy. I have several Knockout roses, Drift roses, and many amazing shrub roses from Ping Lim’s Easy Elegance series and Proven Winner’s OSO Happy and OSO Easy series. I trim these power bloomers about 1/3 or 1/2 of their size and remove any dead or diseased canes to give them a fresh start. Watch tips for pruning Knock Out roses from P. Allen Smith here.

Petit Pink from Proven Winners OSO Happy Series ... A David Zlesak rose!
Petit Pink from the Proven Winners OSO Happy collection … A beautiful, healthy shrub rose hybridized by Dr. David Zlesak. 

 

IMG_8428
Quietness Buck Rose

 

Cherry Pie
Cherry Pie from Proven Winners OSO Easy Collection

That’s it! Questions always welcome. 

Have a wonderful blooming season!

🌹🌹🌹

 

 

3 thoughts on “Rose Buzz: Tips on Rose Pruning

If you have a minute, leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s