The Q&A Archives: Pruning a Carpet Rose

Question: I planted a pink carpet rose in the spring, and it's still blooming. I was told to shear it down in the fall. What does that mean? What exactly should I do? I am not picking off dead blossoms to promote growth. I have never had a carpet rose so I would appreciate instruction on how to care for this beautiful plant.

Answer: The carpet roses can be cut back or sheared off (literally using a hedge trimmer) as preferred to tidy them up, this being done in place of the more exacting types of pruning usually done to other kinds of roses. Typically, the shearing would be done in very late fall after all growth has stopped, or in winter or very early spring before growth begins again next season. Cut them back to about a foot tall in winter, then simply trim off any wildly errant stems during the growing season using hand pruners, or periodically give the entire plant a light trim if needed.

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