The Q&A Archives: Pruning roses

Question: We just moved into our home in December. I don't know what kind of roses I have, but they have bloomed and now the flowers are dried up. I pulled off all dried petals, leaves, and brown stalks. I need to know if I should prune anything on the bushes at this time?? Thanks! (Please be specific, I am new at this!)

Answer: To keep your shrub roses blooming for a long time, prune off the spent flowers along with some of the stem, all the way down to a 5 leaflet leaf. From this point a new flowering stem will emerge and you'll get another flower. Always cut off the faded flowers along with some of the stem, all summer long. In December, prune your rose bushes down to about knee high. Then choose the strongest 3-5 canes to save and prune off all the others. I know this sounds drastic, but you'll get lots of healthy new growth in the spring. When you've finished pruning your rose bushes should have a vase shape. Hope this is detailed enough. If not, send another question and we will try to be even more specific. Best wishes with your new landscape.

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