The Q&A Archives: Roses

Question: I planted roses I bought from Burpee and they bloomed beautifully, but only 2 large roses. How do I cut them back now that the roses are dead? Will they bloom again? How do I prepare them for winter?

Answer: To remove the spent roses, cut back the flower stem to just above the first leaf with five leaflets that is facing away from the center of the plant. This will make the bush look neater and encourage it to rebloom sooner if it is a reblooming type of rose.

Unfortunately, the answers to your questions depend on which type of rose you purchased. There are different classes of roses and they are treated differently for pruning and for winter care. In addition, some roses bloom only once in spring and others cycle in and out of bloom all summer. Without knowing which variety you have, it is impossible to give you a specific answer.

You might wish to look at a good basic reference book on growing roses. Besides giving lots of general pointers, it will show you in illustrations how to prune. This is much easier than trying to learn it by reading a description! An excellent book is Roses for Dummies by Lance Walheim and the Editors of The National Gardening Association.

Good luck with your roses!

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