The Q&A Archives: Support For English Rose Bush

Question: My Golden Celebration rose bushes get very big each spring. The flowers are so abundant and heavy that the canes can't keep them upward. Now that the bushes have been pruned I would like to build some support for the next flowering season. I was thinking about using copper tubing. Any reason why I shouldn't...?

Answer: You can certainly provide support for your rose bushes, but there's an underlying cause for the spindly canes and if you correct the problem, your roses shouldn't need support. Thin canes can be caused by excessively fast growth (usually from over-fertilizing), or from inadequate sunshine. Make sure your roses get 8-10 hours of full sunshine each day, and feed when plants are in full leaf and again after first bloom. To help strengthen roots and canes, fertilize 6 weeks before anticipated first frost (but not after Sept. 1 in most areas). For proper hardening of canes for winter, do not fertilize late in the fall.

Be sure that you're pruning your English roses properly. During the first two seasons, allow the plant's basic framework to develop, pruning out only the small spindly shoots. Thereafter: for a smaller shrub with larger, better quality flowers, prune by one-half; for a larger shrub with more flowers, prune back by one-third.

Hope this information helps you help your rose bushes!

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