The Q&A Archives: Pruning Roses

Question: When shall I prune my rose bushes and how far back should they be pruned? Thank you, AKM

Answer: The answer to your question depends on what kind of rose you are growing. The hybrid tea roses are typically pruned back very hard in early spring to remove any winter damage and to stimulate larger flowers. The old fashioned shrub roses that bloom only in spring would be pruned after they bloom to thin them slightly, if needed. The newer landscape roses that bloom all summer can be sheared or trimmed lightly if desired or cut back hard to renew them. To some extent your spring pruning will depend on the winter we've experienced, as well.

For more details such as pruning diagrams and general care instructions for the different types of roses, you might want to look at a book or two. One I particularly like is "Roses for Dummies" by Lance Walheim, ISBN 0-7645-5031-4. It is very straightforward and full of practical information.

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