Pruning Roses

pruning roses, how to prune roses, pruning tools, pruning knock out roses

Pruning Roses - A Guide To Keeping Your Roses In Tip Top Condition

Keeping your roses in tip-top shape is not that hard. Learn how in this informative article giving you all the pruning roses necessary steps.

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Even though roses aren't the easiest plants to care for, they still are among the most popular plants in the landscape. Uneven growth, fewer blooms than anticipate and plants growing out of control are all issues for gardeners, but all of these problems can quickly and easily be solved.

You need to know that it is not as simple as grabbing a pruning shears and shaping your rose bushed to a nice uniform shape. This will create more problems than you are trying to solve. Actually whacking away at your roses and getting them into a nice shape is actually the worst thing you can do because it will not promote good growth and create disease in your plants.

If you are thinking that you can use a "hedge-clipper" attitude for your roses, you will actually be creating a disease prone plant and you can kill your prized rose bushes.

Rose Bush Ready for Pruning

Pruning Roses - Ready for Pruning

Analyzing The Bush Before You Start Pruning Your Roses

The first thing you should do is to take the time to analyze each bush prior to diving in. Look at each bush and decide what is the best tactic for obtaining optimum growth, appearance and health.

Consider these items:

Shoot Growth:

Are there several rose canes sticking far above the main form of the rose bush? If this is the case with your bush, the best measure is to trim off these cans to conform with the remained of the bush form. See the section below on "Pruning Roses - How It Is Done" for instructions on how this in done.

Dead Growth Removal: Do some of your rose canes appear dead or dying and have very little, if any growth on them? If so cut these canes all the way down to the base of the plant. This will give added vigor and strength to the plant and will increase the air flow in the center of the plant. This means that fungus and mildew buildup will be minimized which can further damage the plant.

Addressing A Leggy Out Of Form Bush: This is a common issue with many rose bushes and presents a more serious pruning operation. This is one of the most extreme measures, in that it removes major portions of the plant. The appearance of these rose bushes is usually very thin and they lack the full appearance of a health bush.

Even though cutting back this amount of the bush can be somewhat alarming, there should be plenty of new canes as well, giving you a well-formed bush.

Pruning Roses - Cut Dead Areas Off Healthy Canes

Pruning Roses - Cut Dead Areas Off Healthy Canes

Pruning Roses - When Is The Best Time To Prune?

The best time for most areas of the country is late winter, but this can vary depending on the area of the country you reside. The best time of year in the cold weather states is early in the spring, prior to the plants blooming.

For areas of the country other than the cold weather states, keep an eye on the growth of the flower buds. The best time for pruning roses is when the flower buds start to swell.

Felco Classic Manual Hand Pruner #F-2 Hand bypass pruners with hardened nut and bolt and replaceable cutting blade.

Tools Required for Pruning Roses:

Basically all you need is one good quality tool for pruning roses into shape. That would be a high-quality hand pruning shears. At Green Living Made Easy, we consider only one pruning shears for our roses and other pruning tasks for limbs under 3/4" diameter. That is the Felco F-2 Classic By-Pass Hand Pruner.

This pruning will last a lifetime as long as you take care of it. It provides a knife-edged cut and is very easy to use and sharpen. All that is required is that you keep it clean, dry and sharpened.

There is no rose cane that the Felco hand pruner cannot handle. If however, you do not have the hand strength to handle the largest rose cans, you should resort to the Felco By-Pass loppers. You can trim canes 1" and larger with this high quality tool.

Stay away from anvil-type pruners or loppers as these crush and damage the canes rather than slicing through them with a knife-like cut.

No matter how carefully you are with pruning your roses, the thorns will "get" you sooner or later. Wear long sleeves, long pants, and get yourself a good thick pair of leather gardening gloves to stay away from those thorny puncture wounds.

Rose Bush Ready for Pruning

Pruning Roses - Rose Bush After Pruning

Pruning Roses - The Purpose For This Task:

The first and most obvious reason for pruning roses is to bring the bushes back into a well-mannered form and a respectable member of your landscape border. There are of course many other reasons for pruning roses;

Proper methods for pruning roses will also encourage new growth, force the plant to produce additional blooms and increase the density of the bush. The easiest way to increase the overall health and disease resistance of the bush, simply remove all the dead and dying canes.

Pruning Roses - Trimming Cane Just Above a Healthy Shoot

Pruning Roses - Trimming Cane Just Above a Healthy Shoot

How To Complete Your Pruning Roses Project:

First of all, you should determine the final shape and form that you wish your rose bush to have.

Next, remove all dead and dying canes, by cutting them down to just above grade level. You can tell healthy canes by their slightly cream-colored or green appearance. Dead and dying canes will appear dark to black and have a shriveled looking appearance.

Look around the perimeter of the plant and cut off any suckers that are sprouting from the roots of the plant. This will give additional energy to the plant and prevent the suckers from robbing vital nutrients from the parent plant.

The best method for removal of suckers is to dig around the roots and cut them off where they are sprouting off the roots. Make the cut at the root and re-cover the roots with soil.

Pruning Roses - Trimming Cane Just Above a Healthy Shoot

Pruning Roses - Here Is A Poorly Pruned Shoot. This Will Introduce Disease

As for healthy canes: Determine the desired height for your rose bush and trim the canes to that height. This cut is critical and it should be just above a health growth shoot that is on the cane.

The cut should be as close to the healthy shoot as possible and the cut should angle slightly downward. What we are trying to do is eliminate the "stub" on the plant which will invite disease to the cane, which can happen in a stub as small as 1/4" long.

If you wish to cut more aggressively, you may have to cut further down the cane, where there isn't a new growth shoot.

If this is the case, search for a bud union, which has the appearance of a slight swelling on the surface of the cane. This actually has the appearance of a seam where the cane is jointed together.

Rose Bush Ready for Pruning

Pruning Roses - Here Is The Same Bush After One Month

Another excellent task you can do is to remove spent blooms from the plants on a regular basis. This task will give additional energy to the bush and encourage a new flush of rose blooms.

The term for this is known commonly as "dead-heading" a plant and is effective on most plants that produce flower blooms.

Does your rose bush have partially dead canes that are dead only above a certain point on the cane? If this is the case, prune the dead portion of the cane and leave the healthy part. Again follow the recommendations above for pruning roses for this procedure.

With proper feeding and watering, giving your roses a good hair-cut will keep them healthy and full of blooms and your rose garden will be the talk of the neighborhood!