The Q&A Archives: Non-dormant Roses

Question: The winter has been mild (so far) and the roses have not lost leaves or gone dormant, in fact they are still blooming here and there. I always prune in mid-February; should I stick with old routine or are there going to be some problems here? Do they need a decent dormant period? I have both hedge roses and the tea type.

Answer: If you've had problems in the past with black spot, pull the remaining leaves off your plants, then wait until late February or early March to prune. Just to reassure you, roses in California never really go dormant, but they seem to perform well anyway. Don't be overly concerned about your roses; they'll come through the mild winter just fine. Prune on schedule, feed and water as usual, and your plants will reward you with lots of blooms next summer.

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