• How to Prune Roses

    One of the first things a new rose gardener wants to know is how to prune roses. It can be intimidating. Here you have this beautiful plant and you are getting ready to start hacking at it. What if you ruin it? What if it never blooms again?

    If that is what you are thinking, relax. There are some helpful tips to pruning roses; however, rose bushes are much more resilient than you may think. Even if you do get carried away with pruning, it will only take one growing season for the plant to bounce back. Here is the “when, what, where” of how to prune roses.

    When to Prune Roses

    While you can prune roses in the fall if necessary, the best time to prune a rose is in the spring after any danger of a frost has passed. Obviously the exact time frame is going to vary widely depending on the area of the country that you live in. If uncertain, consult your local garden supply store.

    What to Prune

    When wondering what to prune from a rose bush, keep in mind the purpose of pruning, which is to create healthy plants. The first thing you will prune is any damaged canes or dead wood. A second goal of pruning rose bushes is to reduce the risk of disease and pest infestation by ensuring that there is proper air circulation within the rose bush itself. If there are rose canes crossing through the plant rather than having an outward growth habit, those will be the next candidate to remove. In total, a good rule of thumb (assuming you have roses on their own root stock) is to remove one third of the canes each year to encourage the plant to regenerate and have vigorous growth.

    How to Prune Roses

    You just need a few basic tools to prune your rose bushes: pruning shearers, long handled pruners (or clippers) and long gardening gloves to protect against any thorns. If you have done any gardening at all, you most likely will already have these on hand. It is important to remember to keep your pruning shears sharp and clean. You want to cut the canes, not rip them apart and damage the remaining plant. Also, if you have been pruning a diseased plant, make sure that you thoroughly sterilize it before using it on your rose bush. You don’t want to contaminate your rose bush as well.

    Rose bush pruning is a vital part of proper rose bush care and helps your plant remain healthy and disease free. If you are wondering how to prune roses, following these simple steps will give you a good basis to healthy and beautiful rose plants.

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