The Q&A Archives: Pruning Rose Bushes

Question: How far can I cut my rose bushes back before winter sets in? All the way to the base? I want them to be low and bushy.

Answer: The answer to your question really depends on the type of rose you are growing -- both pruning practices and specific shape and size of the plant. In no case, however, would you cut a rose to the ground in the fall. Hybrid tea roses may be cut back lightly in the late fall and are cut back fairly hard in the spring to stimulate new growth; shrub roses are pruned more lightly in the spring. For instructions in detail as well as diagrams for pruning roses you might wish to look at a basic book on rose care. One I particularly like is "Roses for Dummies" by Lance Walheim ,ISBN 0-7645-5031-4. In it you will find lots of information to help you grow the best possible roses.

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