hybrid musk, long term mainenance
My question is about Penelope and Bubble Bath even though it is about all of this category.
I live outside of Tulsa in zone 7A. Even though we can have harsh winters, our worst weather condition is a killing frost after the roses have grown -- even to buds or small blooms. Therefore, I do not have much to lose by pruning now, and cleaning up all the wood so that later I can work on the soil and mulch.
I have had 5 Penelope roses since 1999. Since they were blooming profusely, and looked good, I only trimmed the branches and let them go. When I noticed that the lower branches were rather weak looking, I just fertilized, and went on to my other roses. The branches in my view looked good. Then the roses began to deteriorate.
I now know that I need to do major cutting on the rose at certain intervals to stimulate new growth so the rose will not die. I think I need to take off about 1/3 of the rose at a time.
Do you do this every year after about 4 or 5 years? Do you cut to the roots (own roots) or do you cut through some roots? I ususally begin pruning about this time of the year. I will always lose some of the top growth, but with so many roses, it saves time to get them to about 5 or 6 feet, then make final cuts when the new growth begins.
I am down to 3 Penelopes and Bubble Bath. Bubble Bath arches beautifully, and I really hate to cut it back. If I do not, will it tend to drag to the ground or split in the center? Bubble Bath is about 4 years old. Often there is no decision on pruning because the winter is harsh enough to destroy some ends of canes.
I would appreciate any suggestions to the long term mainenance of these roses, and of others that would perform like the hybrid musks. I intend to start another thread at some point about chinas, teas, and bourbons.