How to prune roses

 

Welcome in my second part of my guide where I teach hot to prune rose bushes. Just in case I’d like to remind you some basics:

BASIC PRUNING FUNDAMENTALS THAT APPLY TO ALL ROSES:

  1. Remember to always use clean and sharp equipment. I can’t stress that enough!
  2. Always try to cut at a 45-degree angle about 0.25 in. above an outward-facing bud. The cut should slope away from the bud.
  3. Try to always entirely remove all dead/dying canes. Usually, these canes are shriveled, dark brown, or even black.
  4. If cane borers are a problem, I suggest sealing the ends of the cuts to prevent the entry of cane borers.
  5. Good tip – remove all weak and thin canes that are smaller than a pencil in diameter.

 

Basic pruning fundamentals that apply to all roses:

  1. Remember to always use clean and sharp equipment. I can’t stress that enough!
  2. Always try to cut at a 45-degree angle about 0.25 inch above an outward-facing bud. The cut should slope away from the bud.
  3. Try to always entirely remove all dead/dying canes. Usually, these canes are shriveled, dark brown, or even black.
  4. If cane borers are a problem, I suggest sealing the ends of the cuts to prevent the entry of cane borers.
  5. Good tip – remove all weak and thin canes that are smaller than a pencil in diameter.

Pruning a Shrub Rose

Find the right place to cut.

Prune canes back to fat, pink buds that face the outside of the shrub. Cut the spindly canes back in half their length, I recommend 2 to 3 feet long. You should cut off completely al canes that grow from below the graft union. Clear away diseased canes. If you see brown wood in the center of a cane when you cut it, prune a little farther back until the tissue is clear and healthy.

Make the proper cut.

Make your cut about 0.25 inch above a healthy bud and at a 45 degree angle. The bud and the high point of the cut should be on the same side of the cane so that water will drain away from the bud. To prevent the spread of disease, clean your pruning tools between shrubs with a mix of one part bleach and nine parts water.

Remove old flowers.

To stimulate repeat flowering, use your favorite pruners or even scissors to remove old flowers as soon as they finish blooming – its very important. Try to cut each stem back to a leaf with 5 to 7 leaflets and a healthy bud.

 

Tips

  • In cold-climate areas, wait to prune until the buds just begin to swell in spring. Always wait until the danger of frost is gone to prune your Shrub roses. Just about when growth is just about to start.
  • If you want to encourage new growth, fertilize roses after the spring pruning. 

Pruning miniature roses

Miniature Roses Are Different

At the beginning, I’d like to discuss why we act differently when pruning miniature roses. They are much smaller than Hybrid Tea Roses – but that’s not the case here. As we know (or maybe you’ve just learned something new) almost all Hybrid Roses art typically grafted plants. Our miniature Roses grow on their roots in general. That’s why they have more canes than Hybrid Tea Roses.

 

They also tend to grow in a more chaotic way than a hybrid tea, especially in the first two years of growth. It is also important that the typical Miniature Rose has a much tighter internodal spacing on the canes than our Hybrid Rose. The spacing between the buds is generally small and this feature affords more flexibility in choosing where to cut to a promising bud eye than does the typical hybrid tea. This also explains why the impatient gardener can simply prune miniature roses with hedge shears with fairly good effect and minimal die-back. I will reserve further comment on this technique to the conclusion of this article.

Miniature Roses add very delicate but energetic addition to any indoor or outdoor garden. Very often happens the pruning is neglected since many owners consider this as a fairly common plant. In order to maximize blooms and create a healthy and strong rose, pruning is a must.

 

Prune when the bushes start to look bad. During the growing season, the Miniature Roses will grow A LOT. They will look bushy, tall and leggy – just bad. If you notice this happening, prune back the new growth to where it meets the original cane. You don’t have to hurry, prune one branch at a time, stepping back to look at the overall shape of the roses. Don’t worry you can’t overdo it, it will grow back just fine.

    SUGGESTED PRUNING SEQUENCE:

    • Remove all dead canes, cut them off where the discoloration begins,
    • Remove all small and weak canes. Weaker shoots you can shorten back to 2-4 in. from the base
    • Leave 3-6 healthy and thick canes. If possible try to space them evenly around the plant. Remaining shoots cut down to around 1ft.
    • The more growing focused on the stronger canes, the stronger your plant will be.
    • Prune any dead or damaged leaves and branches.

    Tip

    • Do not prune in the fall, except to remove dead blooms. The plant will respond by trying to start new growth, which will be damaged in the first frost. This could introduce disease and greatly weaken the miniature rose.