The Q&A Archives: Pruning Rose

Question: I would like to know when is the best time to prune rose in the spring, and how far back should you cut?
Thank You

Answer: Rosarians I know recommend a major pruning when the plant is dormant in late winter to ready it for peak bloom in spring. This would be in mid- to late February in your gardening region. 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, phone 318/938 5402.

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