The Q&A Archives: Pruning

Question: I live in the Northeast and the snow has just melted away from my first rose bushes. I would like advice on how to prune them. I have read conflicting articles. I have tea roses.

Thank you.

Answer: Pruning roses can be confusing because different varieties require different treatments. Hybrid teas need to be pruned heavily to encourage bigger flowers. Here are the basics: In the spring, remove the dead and damaged canes as far back as necessary. Then, remove any suckers that arise from below the graft union, if there is one (the swelling near the base of the plant). Next, select the healthiest canes (thicker and bright green) and cut off the rest. If your roses are just a couple of years old, save about 3-5 canes. Save more on older plants. Lastly, cut the flowering canes back by one-third to one-half. Make your cuts about 1/4" above an outward-facing bud.

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