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How short can I prune minis?

Posted by joannemb 6 NE OH (My Page) on
Mon, May 14, 12 at 10:56

I have some dwarf candytuft (gets about 8 inches tall) planted, and I'd like to put some green ice mini roses in front of them. The candytuft blooms in late April/ early May before the green ice bloom.

If I follow this advice: "As with other roses, prune miniature roses just before new growth starts in late winter or early spring. Hard pruning is not necessary. Prune dead or broken wood first. Then trim back about a third of the plant to maintain its shape and encourage new growth." Then, even though the green ice roses get about a foot tall when mature, I'm thinking that I would prune the green ice roses in March (before buds have formed) which will keep them short long enough for the candytuft to bloom the next month, and then let the roses grow taller than the candytuft all summer (hiding the less attractive foliage of the candytuft.)

So if I prune back 1/3 of the plant (and they get to be about 12 inches tall when mature) then I should be able to prune them to about 8 inches (taking off about 4.) Some sites say they get to be 18 inches mature though....which would mean I'd have to prune them to 6 inches.... just wondering if that is too much in late winter/early spring?
I'm a beginner, and although I have green ice roses, (planted last year) I didn't touch them this year because I felt they might be too young. So being inexperienced with pruning, would you say I could prune them in March leaving the plants about 6 inchs tall? Or is that too much to prune back each year? Thanks so much for your insight!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How short can I prune minis?

Green Ice gets in the 2' tall range here when mature.

I wouldn't prune them back that much, but that's me. For my minis, I just take out the dead/damaged/diseased, and for the taller ones, I might take off 2" - 3", and that's it. I would plant the Green Ice somewhere else. But, you can try it and see what happens.

RE: How short can I prune minis?

Well, Springhill had a sale and I had to jump on I bought 40 (used a 50.00 coupon too) for $80.00-- Filled the entire border! It is so frustrating that the site says one thing and you are saying they get triple that size. Well, it's done now---I'm going to just have to experiment with the pruning to keep them small. I have read that people go in with an electric trimmer and lop of the tops of them in early spring. Guess I will have to experiment.

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