The Q&A Archives: Roses

Question: About a year ago I planted two iceberg rose bushes side by side. They were taken from a friends garden and transported into my garden.
Up until now I did not see much growth. Here's my problem they both are producing roses but one of them is doing so much better than the other one. The healthy lush one is so full there are even healthy green leaves from the very base of the rose bush. And the other one has roses but it just doesn't compare to it's mate. Any suggestions on what I can do to jump start it? And also is it ok to take the dead and or yellowed leaves off of rose?

Answer: To enhance its appearance, I'd prune away anything dead or dying. Pruning will encourage healthy new growth so if you don't generally prune your roses in the winter (December) you might try doing so next year. Cut them down to 18-24" above the ground and remove all but 3-5 of the healthiest, most vigorous canes. This will help your roses remain attractive and bloom prolifically. As for the unhappy camper, prune it back lightly now and feed it. Miracle-Gro, Magnum-Grow, and HighBloom are typical rose foods. Be sure it gets watered regularly. I hope it performs beautifully for you this summer.

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