The Q&A Archives: Pruning Roses

Question: When exactly is the best time to trim or prune roses in Northern California?

Answer: Rosarians I know recommend a major pruning when the plant is dormant in late winter to ready it for peak bloom in spring. In your area, prune in mid- to late-February. Different rose types require different types of pruning, but typically it's best not to cut more than 1/3 of the plant back at a time. Then a light pruning follows in September, which can promote more bloom. The book, "Roses for Dummies" can provide more specifics on pruning. Also, check for rose societies/garden clubs in your area. They often give pruning demonstrations which are very helpful to observe if you've never done it before. The American Rose Society, PO Box 30,000, Shreveport, LA, 71130-0030, 318/938 5402, 318/938-5405 fax. can help you locate a club. Good luck!

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