The Q&A Archives: Care And Pruning Of Shrub Roses

Question: please advise as to care and pruning of shrub roses. i have planted red shrub roses along a porch rail facing south, and although they are growing, and flowers are blooming from spring till frost they are leggy and far from shrub like. they are spikey and not at all full, and i would like to have advise asap as spring is almost here. thanks.

Answer: Shrub roses tend to be leggy if grown in too little sunlight (roses do best in full sun all day long but will bloom in six hours of sun if those hours include noon)and/or if overfertilized, so review the cultural conditions first. Next, although some varieties require very little pruning, merely a light shearing to remove any winter-killed tips and possibly for shaping, other shrub rose varieties seem to do better if trimmed back to about ten inches in mid spring, about when the forsythias bloom. You might try a hard pruning and see if that helps.

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