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PRUNE ROSES -
Remember all the planning you did
before you took a trip?
This page is like that...
Let's change the mystery of rose pruning...
to its mastery...
Below are really important things you should know before you start to prune.
YOU NEED TO KNOW:
In the Spring, when the Forsythia blooms and new buds begin to swell on the rose canes, it's time to prune your roses. (If you don't have a Forsythia nearby, then in early to mid-April, or the temperature is a consistent 13C or 55F, and the budeyes are swelling... go for it)
Rose pruning is pretty simple if you remember a rose is just a shrub with flowers.
Use sharp, clean “Bypass” secateurs or pruners - (blades by-pass one another and make a clean cut).
“Anvil “pruners have one blade meeting a stationary edge and can crush the stem leaving it open to disease or insects. These work best for dead wood..
Here's what works for me...
Please don't use electric hedge trimmers to prune roses. They tear, split and damage canes - sometimes beyond saving.
When the Forsythia Blooms....
Oops, wait..don't start just because you have a pair of sharp pruners and the Forsythia is blooming.
Pruning roses is simple - but -
Instead of learning how to prune Tea Roses, or Floribundas specifically,
Learn How Roses Grow.
- it'll be easier to see how to prune them
NOTE: Keep the tags with your rose's name. They won’t help you prune because they only give their growth habit (such as ground cover, shrub etc.) but not - how they grow.
BTW-I hope you didn't prune your roses in the fall !!!
Leave the canes standing at least 3 feet tall in the Autumn so all that green (nutrients) can go down to feed the roots keeping them strong in cold winters.
The ANATOMY of a ROSE
For more details, definitions and sketches,
and find out about bud-eyes, basal breaks, suckers, leaflets, rose hips and more...
When the Forsythia blooms in Spring, look for those tiny bud-eyes that begin to show dark red up the sides of the rose canes.
Above: Emerging bud-eye
Above: Emerged bud-eye
Even though you'll prune according to
ALWAYS start with the 4D’s
Dead (brown; brittle)
Diseased (mottled brown and green)
Dying (brown or grey)
Damaged (broken, torn ,split)
Then cut below the "D" back to just above a healthy bud-eye.
New roses or trans-plants:
prune only the 4D’s for first year.
Dying Rose cane - cut to healthy bud-eye
A cut made too high (top left) can cause necrosis where the cane keeps dying back. Cut (prune) back to a healthy bud-eye.
The split on the right, is from dull pruners and will also cause the cane to die back or be open to disease or insects.
Cut back to a healthy bud-eye
Cut these dying or dead canes back to healthy buds - see black lines on both sketches
In this sketch above, prune the large, dead centre cane back to the lowest green side shoots. Also prune off small dead branches carefully close to the main cane.
Photo- Gail Trimble
THE FAIRY ROSE
The lovely Astrid Lindgren - a glorious Floribunda rose.
For other pruning - like trees and shrubs, go here
REMEMBER; Pruning roses is not that difficult once you begin. And, if you make a mistake, there is a whole season to recover.
You can do this !!
Take it one stem at a time…. Take your music to your garden along with your tea, and start pruning.
...my favourite books...
... on planting, growing and pruning roses, is by Paul Zimmerman called
"Roses Without Chemicals"
by Peter E. Kukielski
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and my monthly newsletter
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the bliss we all find in our gardens.