The Q&A Archives: Hedge roses

Question: my hedge rose bushes are scrawny at the bottom with yellow leaves but the tops have healthy green leves. What do they need?

Answer: It isn't unusual for the oldest leaves, those towards the bottom and inner parts of the branches to die off this time of year. They are generally replaced once they drop. However, to keep the plants looking full and green, periodic shearing or pruning will force growth towards the center of the plant as well as all over the outside. And, since your rose will bloom on new growth, shearing or pruning it back will assure it looks not only neat and tidy, but full of healthy leaves and bursting with flowers. Give your shrub roses a little haircut and they should respond with lots of green growth. If you haven't fed them yet this year, now's a great time to do so. Best wishes with your roses.

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