The Q&A Archives: roses

Question: We moved into our home 5 years ago there were roses growing in a small area in the middle of the yard. I pruned them and they grew very well and even produced beautiful rosebuds, but there is no rime or reason to them. They just grow straight up and out any old way. How can I control them?

Answer: Pruning will usually control the shape of a rose bush so try pruning this way this spring:

Start by reducing everything to about knee high. Remove any old or non-productive canes, saving 3-5 of the healthiest looking ones. Your goal is to have a vase shape so the center of the bush is open to good air circulation. Of the canes remaining, cut each down to an outward facing bud, in the direction you want the growth to take. As the bushes flower and the flowers fade, cut the flowering stem down to a 5-leaflet leaf on the stems. This is where new flowering stems will be produced. Regular deadheading and cutting back after the flowers fade should control your out of control rose bushes because they will always be renewing themselves. Hope this helps!

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