Prun­ing Tips, Part 2: Roses

Catron Courier - - News - By Wilma Stan­ton Master Gar­dener

Re­cently, sev­eral peo­ple have asked me about prun­ing roses, since I didn't in­clude them in my last ar­ti­cle. While it may seem dif­fi­cult to prune roses that are grow­ing beau­ti­fully, if you don't they will be­come ugly as they grow tall and be­come scrag­gly look­ing. For roses to be healthy and pro­duce many buds, they must be pruned.

The best time to prune roses is mid-win­ter to mid­spring; how­ever, you can re­move canes that will be dam­aged dur­ing the win­ter months in the fall. Be sure that you have the right tools for prun­ing. Use curved-edge prun­ing shears that will not crush the stems. A long­han­dled lop­per, or a prun­ing saw is best to cut thick canes on the rose bushes.

As you are get­ting ready to prune, clean out any de­bris that is around the plant. Re­move any growth that shouldn't be there. Re­move the top third of the plant. Re­mem­ber, each new branch will grow in the di­rec­tion it is fac­ing. If the bud is point­ing out­ward, the new branch will grow out. If you cut be­low the bud, the bud won't grow, so be care­ful as you pro­ceed. Be sure to cut in the an­gle of the leaf, as it looks neater as the cut seals.

Since the pur­pose of prun­ing is to re­new the plant, look at the bot­tom of the rose bush. If it has sev­eral canes, re­move three or four of them. If it has as lit­tle as three canes, re­move one. This won't kill the plant, but will make it stronger and new growth will be pos­si­ble. After you have com­pleted prun­ing, clean the rose by us­ing the hose to wash off any par­ti­cles that may be cling­ing to it.

Roses are tough and can sur­vive a bad prun­ing, so don't panic if you make a mis­take. Any prun­ing you do is bet­ter than no prun­ing at all.

Hy­brid Tea Roses should be pruned by tak­ing one-third off the top, as you want the plant to pro­duce a large, sin­gle flower. Flori­bun­das should be en­cour­aged to pro­duce many flow­ers. Take off one-third to one-half from the top.

Prune climb­ing roses when you prune other roses. The climbers that bloom only once in the spring should be pruned after bloom­ing. Prune old­fash­ioned roses after they bloom. Prune Gran­di­flo­ras and minia­tures the way you prune

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