The Q&A Archives: Pruning Roses in Arizona

Question: When do I prune roses in Casa Grande, Az zone 8B?

Answer: Major rose pruning is done in January here, to prepare for the peak boom period in April-May. Another lighter pruning is done in mid-September to prepare for the second bloom period in fall. Different types of roses have different pruning requirements, if you have hybrid teas, here are the basics: Cut back only about 1/3 of the bush at a time. In the spring, remove the dead and damaged canes as far back as necessary. Then, remove any suckers that arise from below the graft union, if there is one (the swelling near the base of the plant). Next, select the healthiest canes (thicker and bright green) and cut off the rest. If your roses are just a couple of years old, save about 3-5 canes. Save more on older plants. Lastly, cut the flowering canes back by one-third to one-half. Make your cuts about 1/4" above an outward-facing bud. In the fall, usually a lighter pruning is done to just clean up the plant.

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