The Q&A Archives: Planting Perennials

Question: I also have roses. How far can I cut them without messing them up. They are falling over and I just want them to grow upward instead of outward please help me. I am fairly new to having all kinds of plants and flowers in my new home yard. I have planted nothing new and it is hard to figure out what and when to water. I have some azeales that didn't bloom this year. Should I dig them up because they are nothing but sticks. Is there any hope for them? Please help.
A new gardner

Answer: Depending upon where you live (you didn't give us a clue), roses should either be pruned back in March in cold winter climates or in December in areas that do not freeze in the winter. To prune, cut everything back to about 12" and then remove all but 3-5 of the healthiest looking canes. New growth will come from these canes and will flower in the summer. You can cut yours back now by about one-third, just to help make them more compact. But next winter or spring you should do some renovative pruning.

Azaleas produce flower buds during the summer months for their floral display in the spring. If they do not have any leaves on them at all, they may have died over the winter months and you should dig them up and replace them. If they have leaves but didn't flower, just allow them to grow and produce buds this summer. They should bloom next spring.

Best wishes with your garden!

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