The Q&A Archives: Roses

Question: Is it ok to cut your roses back short for winter? and when do you cut them back? I don't want to hinder their blooming and growth beginning in the

Answer: Pruning encourages new growth, which will not have time to harden off before winter weather arrives. The new growth will be killed back during the winter and will need to be pruned off in spring. So, why not wait until spring to do your pruning? When new buds swell on the canes (usually in March), you can prune your roses. Cut everything down to about 24", then remove any obviously dead canes. Choose 3-5 of the healthiest looking canes to save and cut off all the others. Of the 3-5 remaining canes, cut each back to an outward facing bud. This will direct new growth outward, leaving the center of the plant open (which will help avoid disease problems). New growth will begin in earnest when temperatures warm and your roses should begin flowering in late May or early June.


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