Zone 3 Shrub Rose Pruning - Knowledgebase Question

Wyndmere, ND
Question by krgruba
September 6, 1999
We planted two Morden Centennial Shrub Roses this spring and they grew wonderfully but we are unsure of how to prune and protect them this winter. We are between Zones 2 and 3. I have heard that it may not be neccessary to prune way back and that styrofoam cones aren't the best?!?


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Answer from NGA
September 6, 1999

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These shrub roses are treated differently from the hybrid teas you may be thinking of. The shrub roses are about the easiest rose to care for. They are generally pruned in early spring to remove any branches that have been winter damaged or killed and then possibly a light shearing for size control. They never need to be cut back hard unless it is to remove winter damage. To help them bloom to their full potential you can also "deadhead" or remove spent flowers.

Morden Centennial is among the hardiest of roses (rated to 40 below zero F). The best winter protection you can give it is to mound soil up over the center crown to protect it from freezing and thawing repeatedly and against super cold temperatures so that not all of the shrub above ground will be winter killed. Do thisin late fall when the plant is dormant, probably sometime in November, but before the ground is so frozen you can't dig up soil to make the mound.

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