Pruning help please: Winnipeg Roses

CassandraApril 5, 2007

Hello fellow MN gardeners. Can someone please give a rose newbie advice on pruning? I am in the Twin Cities. I had several Winnipeg rose bushes planted last fall in my south facing front garden. The advice I was given was to prune them down to the older woody stalks in April. However, last week when it was warm out (it's freezing today!) I noted that each plant already had new long reddish branches coming from these thicker woody stalks and each new branch is full of little buds. Am I really supposed to prune these branches completely off, buds and all, down to the woody stalks?? These are my first roses ever so please excuse what is probably a very naive question! Thanks.

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selkie_b(z4 MN)

That's one way of doing it, but you'll never get bushes of any size! :) If you want nice sized rosebushes (and I have one of those Canadians myself) just prune out the old dead wood after you get your green stems and buds. These are very hardy roses, and that old advice is really only applicable to certain types (mostly tea)of roses. I raise "old" hardy roses and this has given me the best results and best blooms. It also gives them a chance to - you know - get some established strong stems and some size. If you cut them back each year like that you wind up with little bushes and weaker stems. Now, since these are newer roses, and you need to get their roots established, once you can kind of see where everything is budding use very sharp rose clippers and nip them back right to just above that last swelling bud. Give them a couple more weeks before you do this, the cold weather will have slowed them down and may even cause a little more die-back.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 10:45AM
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Thanks Marie. Your advice makes perfect sense to me!!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 11:16AM
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twohuskies(z4A Mpls, MN)

Marie gives good advice. And with roses if you're not completely sure what is/isn't dead you can always wait to see where the new growth is coming from before pruning. The older canes that are more brown than green are a perfect example. To someone unfamiliar with roses they may *look* dead when in fact they are not. It doesn't hurt to prune out the obvious dead material, wait a few weeks for new growth to show up, and make a second pass at pruning to clean up a bit more. Does that make sense? Have you checked out the Roses forum yet? Over the years I've learned so much hanging out on these forums.

Good luck with your roses. I'm sure they will be beautiful this summer!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 11:49AM
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Thanks, twohuskies. I was a bit intimidated to post my very basic question on the rose forum. Figured you Minnesota people might be kinder with a newbie (as you are!). But I'll start to lurk there to learn more. Thanks again for the advice.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 7:34AM
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selkie_b(z4 MN)

marita - the rose folks are pretty nice! I hung out there for a long time, and still would if I had a few more hours in the day to look at all the great info and drool over the beautiful pictures *laugh*


    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 9:22AM
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