When do I prune my roses?

monica1117(6b)November 15, 2006

Hello everyone! I live in Salt Lake. I have a few rose bushes - regular size bushy roses and miniature "ground cover" roses. I don't know when to prune them and if I should prune the "ground cover" rose at all. Thanks in advance for any help.

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stevation(z5a Utah)

I don't have experience with the ground cover roses, but I can tell you what I do with my shrub roses. If I let them get too tall in the summer, I prune them back some now so the weight of the snow doesn't break the canes. This isn't the final pruning, it's just a prep for winter, so I'll cut them to 3 or 3 1/2 feet tall, just to get them back to where the canes are strong and won't break easily. Then in March, I'll prune them back to about 2 feet and cut out any dead canes and branches that cross the center of the bush.

Anyway, you might get some more advice in the rose forum, especially on your groundcover roses.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 11:09AM
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barb422(z6 UT)

Hello Monica,

Pruning when the forsythia blooms is a good guide. I usually prune early to mid April. You can also tell when the roses are ready to by the swelling of the buds on the stems. Hybrid teas and floribundas are usually pruned harder than shrub roses, which you can prune for shape. Your ground cover roses, may not need much pruning. If they were about the height I wanted, I would probably shear them with hedge shears and clean up with pruners. You can remove dead wood from your roses any time of year. If you have roses that are once blooming (June only), do not prune them in spring or you'll cut off the blooms. Once bloomers are pruned right after they finish blooming.

I'm in the Utah Rose Society and would like to direct you to the URS website www.utah-rose.com. You can read some info about many rose topics there, and there is contact information for the number of local Consulting Rosarians. If you have specific questions you can call any of them on the phone and they'd be happy to answer your questions. If you email, Jerry and June are the ones that read their email most often.

You can also check out Bob Bauer's website. He's a SLC rosarian who also is the URS webmaster, and has his own rose site www.rose-roses.com.
Here's a quote from his site on fall pruning.

Preventitive Fall Pruning
For those areas with true winter seasons, you should get your roses ready for their winter sleep after the first killing frost or BEFORE the first big winter snowstorm. The reason you want to prune at this time is to prevent winter damage to the plant from the breaking off of large canes. Take a look at each bush and lop off all of the large candelabras on the end of tall canes. This is the point at which accumulating snow can breat the whole cane off. Also big crossing branches need to be removed so that they don't saw each other to death during winter wind storms. Any long whiplike canes that could cause damage to itself or other plants should be removed. DO NOT, however do your major pruning at this time. Your roses need to use the stored energy from the canes in order to survive winter in a health fashion. Major Pruning of modern recurrent varieties should only be done in the spring in areas with a true winter.

If you find yourself interested in the Society, we meet the third Thursday of every month except January and I would encourage you to come check out a meeting.

Here's a link to Bob's Spring pruning page.

Here is a link that might be useful: spring pruning

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 10:43AM
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