The Q&A Archives: Heavy Pruning

Question: I was told if flower carpet roses were pruned hard, down to sticks, they would never come back the same. Is this true?

Answer: Carpet Roses are among the most minimal maintenance roses. These hardy landscape roses can be pruned a little or a lot. Required pruning is absolutely minimal: in the spring, trim out any winter damaged canes. During the season, should a particular cane grow out of bounds a bit, just trim it back for neatness. Or, your pruning can be more intensive. Early each spring simply trim the entire plant back very short to encourage dense new growth -- you could use a hedge trimmers. Alternatively, every other year, you could trim out some of the oldest canes by cutting them at the base. It takes some time and you need to use a good sharp bypass hand pruner to do it this way. Either method will help keep vigorous new growth coming in and keep air flow moving through the center of the plant. You will also be able to keep the plant tidy although their normal shapes are fairly regular regardless of you pruning methods. Flowers are produced on new stems, so early spring pruning will result in the most flowers. Enjoy your roses!

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