The Q&A Archives: Pruning Roses

Question: I have hybrid tea roses and floribunda roses. These roses<br>do not really go dormant in Southern CA. Therefore, I'm not sure when it is best to prune and how to prune a floribunda<br>rose bush.

Answer: Pruning encourages new stem growth and new blossoms, so you'll want to prune your roses even if they don't actually go dormant.<br><br>The best time for you to prune your roses is in February, before spring weather arrives. The hybrid teas shouldhave only 3-5 good strong canes coming from the graft area. Begin by selectively removing anything that is really thin and grows straight up. Suckers like these are non-blooming. The remaining canes should be some distance from one another and look like a vase; open in the center, with canes extending from a central point all around. Then cut the canes back to 12-18 inches of the graft. New wood will form on the canes, and new stems will produce new blossoms.<br><br>The floribundas grow more vigorously and produce many new canes and stems each year. They have a tendency to be dense growers and some people use them as hedges. Cut back the previous season's growth by about one-fourth and leave as many of the strong canes and stems as possible. You'll be rewarded with many small blossoms over a long season.

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