The Q&A Archives: Fall Rose Care

Question: I planted two rose bushes this year. They bloomed twice. What should I do about cutting back for the winter? Do I just leave them alone or is there some pruning that has to be done?

Answer: Roses require regular pruning which is done for the most part in the spring. If your roses are hybrid tea roses, they need to be pruned quite hard in the early spring because they bloom best on new wood. If they are shrub roses or "old" roses, they will need a different type of pruning because most of these bloom on "old wood". You may also need to give them some winter protection, depending, again, on which varieties you are growing.

You might wish to take a look at a basic book on rose care, especially since when it comes to pruning, a picture really is worth a thousand words. One I particularly like is "Roses for Dummies" by Lance Walheim (ISBN 0-7645-5031-4). This book includes excellent information about all aspects of rose care including very clear pruning instructions complete with simple diagrams which show exactly where and how to cut.

Enjoy your roses!

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