The Q&A Archives: How do I revive a rose bush?

Question: I moved into a new house and a couple of non-healthy looking rose bushes were already in place. How do I revive it, should I transplant it to a new pot, or just fertilize it?

Answer: If the roses are in the ground, try pruning them back to rejuvenate them. Begin by pruning everything back to about knee-high. The choose the healthiest looking 3-5 canes and remove all the other canes. On the 3-5 canes you allowed to remain, cut each down to an outward facing bud. This will open the center of the plant up for better air circulation (to help avoid diseases) and will promote healthy new growth. Roses bloom on new stems so after yours have bloomed, cut the flowering stem down to a 5-leaflet leaf and new flowering stems should appear. If the rose is in a container, replant in fresh potting soil and prune as above. Roses require at least 8 hours of direct sunshine to flower and ward off diseases so make sure your roses get adequate sunshine.

Best wishes with your new landscape!

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