The Q&A Archives: Pruning Of Nearly Wild Rose

Question: I planted your "nearly wild rose/Rosa x Nearly Wild" five years ago. I have 15 plants total. Each summer I deadhead and prune the plants somewhat to keep the blooms coming. They are certainly one of the most beautiful showpieces in my landscaping. After five years, the blooms seem to be from the middle up with the bottom somewhat skeletal. I would like to know if it is advisable to cut them down to the ground at this time in order to achieve a more full and shapely plant in Spring. I appreciate any help you can give.

Answer: These landscape shrub roses are best pruned in the early spring to stimulate new growth from the base. In my experience, it works well to thin established plants such as yours by removing some of the oldest canes each year, cutting at the base, thus creating an ongoing renewal process. You could however summarily cut them back very hard all at once next spring if you are willing to wait a bit longer for them to recover and come into bloom next summer.

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