The Q&A Archives: when and how to prune nearly wild (floribunda)

Question: when and how much should floribunda be pruned (if at all)

Answer: These are pruned much less severely than you might prune the typical hybrid tea rose. Overall you want to remove about a third of its height and form a fairly symmetrical rounded outline by trimming or shearing with a hedge trimmer. Then, using a hand pruner, remove any remaining winter damaged or dead or diseased canes. (After a severe winter, you might have to cut the plant back fairly hard initially to remove most of the winter damage, then continue by hand pruner.) Beginning about year two, you might also thin out the center of the plant a bit each spring to improve air circulation through it. Do this annual pruning in the spring about when the forsythia blooms in your neighborhood. Occasionally during the summer you may want to remove the faded flowers to encourage rebloom, but it is not a necessity. An easy way to do it is to very lightly shear the bush, taking off the minimum needed to remove most of the spent blooms and maintain a regular outline on the plant. Enjoy your rose!

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