The Q&A Archives: Pruning Roses

Question: When are roses to be pruned and how far back?

Answer: The answer to your question depends on the type of roses you have. Old fashioned shrub roses would be pruned by removing the oldest stems at the base and this would be done in late winter. Hybrid tea roses, however, are better pruned in the spring to remove any winter damage and to encourage blooming which occurs on new wood of the season. For larger flowers the plant would be trimmed back hard, for more abundant but smaller blooms it would be pruned less severely. For detailed instructions about how to prune roses, you might want to look at a book or two. One I particularly like is "Roses for Dummies" by Lance Walheim, ISBN0-7645-5031-4, Dummy Press.

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