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Is it too late to prune?

Posted by oakleyok OK. z7 (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 28, 10 at 20:37

Hi everyone! I really want to get in my flowerbed and cut back the Carpet Roses, and tidy up the flowerbeds before Winter.

We're getting a frost every night now, and close to a freeze, so I'm wondering if I should let the Roses "be" or get out there now and cut them back?

I don't want to damage them. Any suggestions?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Is it too late to prune?

Most of what I heard is to let the first freezes occur before doing any pruning. That way, you are not exposing the "heart" of the plant (or crown, for the perennials). I typically let the frost/freezes do their damage. I then prune if the plant looks or gets mushy. My understanding is those roses can be pruned in January. They will be dormant then. Another argument against pruning is it can stimulate new growth during warm spells and that new growth will surely be damaged in the freeze. If they are established plantings, I really don't think it would hurt them to prune now. But my vote is to wait a bit. The way I think about it is the bigger plant stands the freeze better, the outer parts which will later be pruned off anyway. Hope this makes sense.

RE: Is it too late to prune?

Thank you Laurie. I tend to agree. My gut says to wait until next Spring because of 1) the bushier it is now, it has more winter protection, and 2) I don't want any open cuts on it because of what you said above.

I'll do it in the Spring when new growth starts just to be on the safe side.

I would have done this a long time ago, but the wasps were just horrid in that flower bed because of all the Lantana in there. They don't like my Roses thank goodness! Dang wasps!

RE: Is it too late to prune?

I wait until spring; that way you know what is dead and what is not. Here that is around mid-March. To be safe, I would wait until spring even though you are Zone 7.

RE: Is it too late to prune?

In our zone 8 location the rule of thumb is around mid march too, but if we have an early spring and the roses start sending out new growth we prune a little earlier.


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