The Q&A Archives: Pruning roses

Question: I need some advice on pruning roses. Although I have done it for years I still don't know if I'm doing it correctly. Should they be pruned in the fall or spring and how much stem should be pruned? Thank you.

Answer: Pruning encourages new growth so don't prune in the spring. If your roses have lots of whip-like growth, wait until after the first frost - when the plants are dormant- and reduce the length of the longest stems to keep them from blowing about in the wind and becoming injured. The easiest approach to pruning shrub roses is to wait until the buds swell in the spring and then cut everything down to about knee level. After that, inspect the shrub and completely remove some of the oldest canes, along with anything that is obviously dead. Your goal is to have 3-5 healthy canes, well spaced and growing in a vase shape (you want adequate air circulation in the center of the plant). Once you've got everything cut down to a manageable level you can recut the stems at various levels, cutting to an outward facing bud so new growth will be directed outward.

Hope this information helps!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by Char and is called "'Diamond Head' Sunrise"