The Q&A Archives: Pruning Roses

Question: How and when do you prune your roses? Do you cut the dead rose off when the petals fall off?

Answer: Pruning roses can be confusing because different varieties require different treatments. But, here are the basics: 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. Another tip: When it's time for a bouquet, or if you don't cut the flowers to take indoors, wait until after the petals begin to fall off, then cut the stems just below the uppermost leaf with 5 leaflets. This will encourage better flowering.

« 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 Marilyn and is called "Southern Comfort"