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I'll be pruning rose bushes today — The Grow Network Community
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I'll be pruning rose bushes today

I have a lot of winter-killed rose bush canes that I need to tend to this afternoon. Here are some helpful articles that I have found in preparation for the chore. I'll throw the dead stuff into the burn barrel for later disposal.


  • JensJens Posts: 460 ✭✭✭

    @Mary Linda Bittle oh yi love roses especially the one that still have their beautiful scent.

    Excellent articles for pruning. Unfortunately I don't have any roses right know as I am a bit short on space.

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 628 ✭✭✭✭

    Good articles. I pruned mine a week or two ago, but I forgot the about cutting at an angle. One tip- this is in one of the articles but in case some one misses it- if your roses are once-bloomers( once big bloom in the spring/early summer) do not prune until after they have bloomed. Actually, you can get away with not pruning once bloomers for a long time- most years I forget. Most of the old European varities( prior to 1860) fall in this category.

  • teachercarynteachercaryn Cook at Wahlburgers The Frozen Tundra in the Northern MidwestPosts: 241 ✭✭✭

    @Mary Linda Bittle , do you use the ash as a rose fertilizer. Or, have you used banana peels as their fertilizer? Can you describe the aromas of your roses, I mean, are do they have the same scent, or are they different?

  • @teachercaryn I've not used ash as a fertilizer, but I do throw my banana peels around the bases of the bushes. I throw down some rose food, too. I didn't plant them. From the looks of them, they are many years old, and had been neglected for a long time.

    The of the 10 roses in my yard, 9 are a deep burgundy red, with no scent, and they get very tall, at least 8 feet. The 10th is a spindly pink one, planted in the shade of a maple tree that doesn't produce many flowers, but those smell divine. Like an old-fashioned rose perfume.

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 628 ✭✭✭✭

    @Mary Linda Bittle the red ones may be Dr. Huey. Most commercial roses nowadays are grafted, and Dr. Huey is a very common rootstock. I have a few Doctors, too. Here's a good right up about it.

    I'm guessing your pink is an antique. Is it spring bloom only or does it rebloom?

  • kbmbillups1kbmbillups1 Posts: 436 ✭✭✭✭

    I prune my Knock Out Roses way back in the fall. If I don't they'll grown taller than my house and then I'll get a violation letter telling me I need to trim my bushes! This year I cut them back farther than normal and one bush I cut down as far as I could and was going to get a saw to cut it to the ground. I just never got around to it. Two of my bushes had gotten powdery mildew very bad last year. I sprayed them with baking soda and then neem oil several times - neither seemed like it worked very well. Amazingly they've all come back and in full force! On top of that I've already gotten a few buds and flowers already.

    I've had these bushes for at least 10 years with no issues. I don't know why last year all the sudden they got covered in powdery mildew except that they also got infested with tiny moth type bugs. I looked them up and think they were rose leafhoppers.

    My grandmother had what I call a real rose garden. She had some many colors and they all smelled so good. I'm sure now she had many different varieties but I was too young to see anything but different colors. I remember being a little girl and she would take me out to her rose garden when we came over and let me choose the ones she would cut and bring into the house.

  • @blevinandwomba Yes, I think that's it! They do get the black spots every year. But they sure are hardy. Thanks for passing that along.

    @kbmbillups1 My grandfather planted roses after he retired from house painting. I remember that he spent many happy hours and grew quiet a variety of roses. The Peace rose was my favorite. That beautiful yellow rose tinged with pink at the edges was so pretty.

  • This has been a larger project than in previous years. There's so much winter kill this year! I am probably going to be cutting 2 of the 9 red roses all the way to the ground. It makes me sad, but the first year here, I had to cut one by the door back, and thought it was gone for good. Nothing happened the first year, but the second year it came back healthy, and is doing great so far this spring.

    How to tell if it's dead?

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,394 ✭✭✭✭

    In the desert you have to prune roses by Valentine's Day. Spring is in full force, my rose bushes are blooming.

  • herbantherapyherbantherapy Posts: 437 ✭✭✭✭

    My rule of thumb is to prune roses around Valentines it helps remember when to do it. Mine are bushes out with a few buds today.

    A trained rosarian told me to never cut at an angle so the surface area of exposed cambium is less and disease has less chance of entering the wound. I always forget and cut my rose just like all my shrubs with an angle! Oops.

    I think the open vase shape is more important than how it’s cut. I also dig a shallow trench around the drip line and bury coffee grounds and banana peels. My roses love this.

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texasseeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 753 ✭✭✭✭

    I usually prune in mid February (central Texas, zone 8b) but I pruned the end of January because of the mild winter we were having. My roses are almost all in bloom now but not quite at their full bloom status. I have 19 different roses. Five were already here and are tea roses but I'm not sure of their variety. They are all different colors. The rest I have added, more each year. I have four on each side of my front walk. While it looks more traditional in design, they are all different colors. To my knowledge I have no duplicates. Each has fragrant blooms (waiting on the new ones from last fall so not sure of the scent yet but they should be fragrant as well). It is very interesting because as each rose has a different color, it also has a different scent. I would like to try making a bit of rose water and using some from each bush that I can harvest. I adore roses. This virus is putting a serious cramp in my rose expansion (addiction, whatever lol).

  • MommaMoMommaMo Posts: 124 ✭✭✭

    I prune in the winter, usually. I have Martha Gonzales roses and they make great eyedrops!

  • @MommaMo We had snow four feet deep for much of the winter. The roses were packed with snow and ice until mid February! I didn't think it was safe to try to get to them until the snow melted, and then I got busy with other things.

    I've been here (western Idaho) for 4 winters now, and we had less snow than the winter of 2016-17, but more than the 2 winters after that.

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