The Q&A Archives: pruning rose flowers

Question: I have been told that if you cut the flower from the rose bush at a 5 or 6 leaf joint the roses will keep blooming. Is this true? If not please inform me on the correct way to cut the flower from the bush to keep the bush blooming throughout the growing season. In addition, can you tell me when to prune the rose bush and how to prune the rose bush.

Answer: Prune in early spring to keep hybrid tea, grandiflora, and floribunda roses vigorously growing and blooming. Just as new growth starts, remove any dead or damaged wood back to healthy wood and make each pruning cut at an angle 1/4" above an outward facing bud. This stimulates growth away from the center of the plant. Cut out all the old wood, but leave 3-5 healthy canes, and cut them back by a third or one-half. New flowering stems will develop from these canes. When you cut rose blooms, you can cut as much stem as you want, but make sure to leave two sets of five leaflet leaves on the stem below the cut, so they can continue to feed the stem. Some roses bloom only once a year and some roses put on a continual display all season. If yours is a floribunda, you can expect roses all summer long.

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