Roses forum: Does anyone do "summer pruning"?

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Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, NY (Zone 6b)
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Mike
Jul 15, 2010 5:10 AM CST
Recently I've begun to notice that some of the catalog descriptions of Austin roses suggest that the plant may benefit from summer pruning. This doesn't mean the customary deadheading we all do; nor do I presume it means simply trimming back a branch to the next five-leaflet, which I often do when deadheading. Instead, I presume this means cutting the plant back to some further degree, and I was wondering if anyone does this, and what the results have been. Do you summer prune your Austins, or any other rose for that matter? As some of my roses get really big, I've thought it might be nice to prune them back within bounds, but I don't want to go without their blooms for several weeks - although maybe it would be worth it, since it might produce more blooms on a more upright plant a few weeks later, or maybe produce a larger autumn flush. Just wondering.

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Name: Alan
Chandler, AZ; 85225 (Zone 9b)
Sunset Zone 13
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GardenGuyAZ
Jul 15, 2010 7:21 AM CST
Mike, just a hunch, but I'm wondering if this comment was made for us who live in the milder climates. Where David Austin roses that are only suppose to get up to 4 feet tall in England, can easily reach 8 to 12 feet tall here in Arizona/California/etc.

I've never tried summer pruning, nor will I. It's going to reach 115 degrees here today, and if you think I am going to get out there and start pruning roses, you got another thought coming ;) I let them grow at will during the summer, and to be honest, the ones that grow tall like that, I never prune them. I let em be. I have an Abraham Darby that is now approaching 15 feet tall, and has the trunk of a small tree. It still blooms profusely all summer long. So I let it be. A wonderful rose. As I recall, when this one first came out, it was reported to get 5 to6 feet tall, mounding. Not! It grows like a weed here, and I like it that way :)

alan

























Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, NY (Zone 6b)
Seed Starter Container Gardener Roses Bulbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Peonies
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Mike
Jul 15, 2010 8:24 AM CST
Alan, I sure don't blame you for staying indoors in that kind of heat! We broke all records last week here in New York with two consecutive days where the temperature reached 104. I didn't do anything in the garden on those two days (except water).

Interestingly, I just did a quick web search for summer pruning of Austin roses and found the following excerpt at http://www.davidaustinroses.com:


Roses for Zones 9-10

English Roses are extremely healthy and vigorous in the warmer US zones. Their ability to repeat flower three or four times in a season means that some varieties will tend to get significantly larger than required if they are not summer pruned.

In the hottest areas of the US, many of our larger shrub roses have a tendency to climb. Vigor is a great asset in a shrub rose, provided that the energy of the plant is diverted away from merely producing great height into producing masses of flowering shoots on a nicely rounded shrub.

To achieve this, we advise summer pruning the more vigorous varieties when they are grown as shrubs in warmer zones (8 and above). This will help to maintain the desired height and will also encourage quicker repeat-flowering. The other great benefit of summer pruning is that it will stimulate the growth of a greater number of flowering side shoots.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Farmer Roses Raises cows Garden Ideas: Level 2
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porkpal
Jul 15, 2010 8:42 AM CST
Which gets us back to : yes, but how?
Porkpal
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
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Skiekitty
Jul 15, 2010 9:34 AM CST
I usually do try to prune this month (July) during the rainy season (now) so that they don't stay leggy. A lot of my roses start out the season (the whole 3 years I've been doing this, so 2 regrowing seasons!) leggy due to winterkill, so I have to prune drastically for spring (this year, almost down to the bud union/dirt for some.. that's how blackened the canes were). So I do a second pruning around now-ish so that they grow faster before winter hits. I don't mind losing a week or two or 3 with no buds.. I have enough other problems on my plate to worry about whether I get a bloom or two. In fact, almost every single rose that I have planted this year hasn't rebloomed yet for me until now.. so I'm not missing out on much. I do NOT prune in the fall because our fall is too unpredictable. It could be 80+ on Monday, 60 on Tuesday, snowing on Wednesday, then back in the 70s on Saturday. If I prune someone, I usually do a 1/3 cut, but that's only if the bush is too leggy/sprawly. If they've got leaves all the way down, or don't look like retarded saplings, I leave 'em alone.
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, NY (Zone 6b)
Seed Starter Container Gardener Roses Bulbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Peonies
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Mike
Jul 15, 2010 10:03 AM CST
PPal,

Here's what else the Austin website has to say:

Summer pruning English Roses

When growing the English Roses, pruning can be very much an art rather than a science and there are few hard and fast rules. Although we aim to give accurate sizes for our roses, we find that in practice, a tremendous variation is possible, especially when dealing with some of the more vigorous roses with potential to climb. These varieties can be pruned almost as lightly or as hard as is required to keep them to the height and form an individual gardener requires.

Summer pruning the more vigorous repeat flowering varieties after each flush of flowers can encourage better repeat flowering and will also limit the height of the rose. To summer prune, simply cut back the flowering stems, leaving two or three buds remaining on this season's new growth.

In the gardens at Albrighton, visitors can see a medium sized Crown Princess Margareta rose growing in one part of the garden, while the same variety may also be found growing as a climber on a small arch in another part of the garden. The difference is simply that the shrub rose has been pruned back to between a third and two thirds of its height in winter, where the climber has been tied in and only lightly tidied up. In warm summers, we will usually go on to summer prune the more vigorous shrub roses such as Crown Princess Margareta, cutting back the flowering stems by around a half after the first flush of flowers.

Name: Alan
Chandler, AZ; 85225 (Zone 9b)
Sunset Zone 13
Charter ATP Member Region: Southwest Gardening Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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GardenGuyAZ
Jul 15, 2010 10:33 AM CST
Yep.. I remember when Austins first came out in the US. They were shocked at how tall some of those roses were growing here.

Alan

























Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Farmer Roses Raises cows Garden Ideas: Level 2
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porkpal
Jul 15, 2010 1:39 PM CST
Thanks Mike, that is very helpful - I was a little worried when it started out calling pruning an art. I am artistically challenged as a rule.
Porkpal
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, NY (Zone 6b)
Seed Starter Container Gardener Roses Bulbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Peonies
Clematis Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dog Lover Cat Lover Birds Region: New York
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Mike
Jul 15, 2010 2:20 PM CST
LOL; I wouldn't worry too much about either the art or the science of pruning; in my experience, there is no "one right way" to prune, despite the nearly universal advice in many books to prune to the next five leaflet or an outward facing bud eye. This past weekend I was demonstrating a number of different ways to prune roses, depending on what is wanted in relation to a plant's blooms and ability to rebloom; its overall height, width, placement in relation to other plants, and the gardener's desire for symmetry; the number and thickness of canes, the presence of crossing canes, and basal breaks; and the prevalence of leaves to perform photosynthesis.

The factors that go into pruning decisions can include as many or as few as a gardener wants to contemplate, but it need not be intimidating. I believe it was the Royal Horticultural Society that performed some studies a while back which concluded that you are as likely to get as many, if not more, blooms by simply shearing a rose bush with hedge trimmers as you are if you apply the traditional pruning techniques. (Be that as it may, I don't care for the look of crew cuts on my rose bushes, so I prune more deliberately, but I don't spend time over analyzing it.)
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Farmer Roses Raises cows Garden Ideas: Level 2
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jul 15, 2010 10:17 PM CST
In general I like to prune most things such that it looks as if I haven't. (But I am going to have to do something rather artless soon or I will no longer be able to walk down the front alley! It will be a bonus if I actually get more blooms as a result.
Porkpal
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
Andi
Jul 16, 2010 3:49 AM CST
I have been trying to tame my Austin rose, Wildeve, this year. It is an own root rose that I bought several years ago as a new gardener. I didn't know anything about Austin roses then, just thought it looked very healthy, loved the color of the blooms, and planted it (after the bf dug a hole and removed a huge rock that took two guys to lift). Needless to say, moving this rose would be problematic. (I am so glad that it is thriving. The bf said "This one was worth digging the hole for") It is planted near a walkway to my front door and has irises growing nearby. (I had to cut a couple of canes back this spring because they were blocking the iris bloom stalks.) I did minimal pruning, at first. The past two years, it has taken off! It sends up new canes 6-7' high and as thick as my finger! It also blocks my front window. I don't mind a few blooms in front of the window, but don't want it totally obscured, especially since it is my only "plant window".

I cut back some older canes at the base of the plant this spring. They were crossing into the plant and crossing or rubbing against other canes. Once the first bloom is done on any given long cane, I cut it back to about 4'-the height of the base of the window. It is such a healthy rose, sending up many new canes, that I think it can survive any pruning errors.

After the secondary cones-the ones branching from the main canes-bloom, I cut them back by half. The secondary canes can reach 3'.

I'll see how this goes. Since my rose is own root, it has more canes, including new canes, at the base than a grafted rose may have. The only grafted rose left in my garden, William Shakespeare 2000, has a much different growth pattern and is a smaller and younger rose.

Wildeve would love to be a large, fountain shaped shrub. When I finally find my dream home and garden, it may have the chance. Until then, I am trying to keep it in bounds. It blooms in clusters of beautiful peachy pink blooms on both old and new growth.

It has been so hot this year, that I haven't been deadheading and pruning as much as usual. I am finishing my coffee and heading out in the garden before the sun/heat become unbearable -about 9 am lately. I still have some things to plant, but have hit a couple of large rocks. I have been missing my gardening companion, Tiffany, and tiring of answering "Where's Tiffany" and heading inside for a cry. My neighbors gossip about everything else around here, I think they would have heard already so that I didn't have to keep answering the same painful questions over and over.

I have been checking with local rescue groups for another pet, and going thru a long process to determine if I am worthy to adopt a pet. After visiting a couple of the "shelters", I am refraining from commenting if they are worthy to shelter animals. I love bureaucracy....not.

Time to get out in the garden. I'll take it out on the rocks!
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Farmer Roses Raises cows Garden Ideas: Level 2
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jul 16, 2010 9:24 AM CST
Is anyone else impressed by how clean the hand holding the pruners is?
Porkpal
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
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Skiekitty
Jul 16, 2010 9:34 AM CST
Andi - I'm so very sorry that it's so hard to adopt a pet from a shelter... I just adopted 2 kitties from one of our shelters on Sunday (didn't have enough time on Saturday.. it's a 2-3 hour process!). I just checked your Craigslist area (http://poconos.craigslist.org/pet/) and there doesn't seem to be much in the way of a pet's section there. Maybe Petharbor? http://www.petharbor.com/

Not much help w/Austins.. mine is still a teeny squirt plant. :(
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
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Skiekitty
Jul 16, 2010 9:43 AM CST
PPal - I've learned after 2 years to wear gloves the second I walk outside. Otherwise my co-workers make fun of me that I work way harder on the weekends than I do at work.

I go through about 2-4 pairs of these a year. I actually went through 6 pairs last year because I was moving a LOT of rock & bricks. But I'd rather rip up a cheapy glove than my fingers!

http://www.homedepot.com/Outdoors-Workwear-Gloves/h_d1/N-5yc...
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Alan
Chandler, AZ; 85225 (Zone 9b)
Sunset Zone 13
Charter ATP Member Region: Southwest Gardening Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Plumerias Plant and/or Seed Trader Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Butterflies Bulbs Container Gardener
GardenGuyAZ
Jul 16, 2010 9:52 AM CST
LOL! What terrible employees you work with Toni!!!

Alan

























Name: aka GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
Andi
Jul 17, 2010 9:06 AM CST
Thanks for the tips, skiekitty. I checked petfinder and craig's list, but haven't heard of pet harbor. I also put an email into Westie Rescue. Most of the rescue people mean well, but I feel like I am trying to get national security clearance or something. I do believe that the right pet will come into my life at the right time, I am just trying to help things along. hn the meantime, I am getting things painted, etc. inside because it is too hot to garden. At least it is less humid today. It typically cools down at night here, but that hasn't been the case during the last couple weeks.

I still have a few things to plant, but haven't made much headway on the rock. I either have to wait for some strong help or rearrange my planting plans. At least I didn't break my shovel, yet. I am hoping to find/or a new one and a new handle on sale. It is nearly that time of year for the good sales at the garden centers.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Jul 17, 2010 4:17 PM CST

Moderator

I was forced to do some drastic summer pruning when the house was repainted a few weeks ago. Wow! You would not believe the rebloom I got on Zephirine Drouhin, which usually produces very meager flushes after the main one.
Name: Vicky Thompson
Michigan (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member Sempervivums Roses Peonies Region: Michigan Rabbit Keeper
Lilies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Farmer Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Annuals
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Cottage_Rose
Jul 20, 2010 8:40 AM CST
porkpal said:Is anyone else impressed by how clean the hand holding the pruners is?


LOL...yes!
Mine would be covered with dirt and dripping with sweat....oh and bleeding too from those meanie rose thorns.
Mike you have lovely clean hands! ;o)



"I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck"
Cottage Rose Birds n' Blossoms

Name: Marti Nelson
96 Royal Lane Somerset, KY 4 (Zone 6b)
Peace and long life
Charter ATP Member Region: California I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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marti
Jul 26, 2010 7:23 PM CST
I just had to prune 17 roses to fit them in my car for the rescue trip down from Ohio. Some of the are already putting on new growth so I don't think it hurt them.
Dovey on DG is moving back to Calif and decided not to take all her roses with her, so She said anyone who wanted to drive to her house could have them. SOOOOO. I left here July 21st at 3 a.m. and drove to Columbus Ohio pruned and dug roses with them for 5 hours and packed the car, left there at 2:30 p.m. and drove back to Somerset, KY. Made for a long, long day for an old lady. But I have 17 beautiful roses, plus I took suckers off her Apothecary Rose Bush. They are all planted and doing well. And I am so happy to have them. Hurray! Hurray!
Tahlmorra lujhala mei wiccan
(The fate of a man rests always within the hands of the gods)
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Jul 26, 2010 9:24 PM CST

Moderator

Marti, I'm so happy for you! Dovey has always bought and grown the very prettiest roses, so I can imagine how delighted you must be with 17 of them. Keep us posted on their progress and make sure to take photos of them when they bloom, please.

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