Pruning Roses - Knowledgebase Question

bklyn, NY
Question by dbadolato
March 6, 1998
I planted roses last summer, and I did not prune them in the fall. Because of the warm weather we are having here some of the buds are already opening. When & how should I prune them?


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Answer from NGA
March 6, 1998

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Each type of rose has its own requirements when it comes to pruning, so it will be helpful for you if you know what type you have. For example:

Tea roses should be pruned in very early spring just as the buds are beginning to swell. Florabundas should be pruned when dormant. Polyanthus roses don't need much pruning but
do it when the plant is dormant. Shrub roses don't need pruning except to remove old, dead or diseased growth. Ramblers should be pruned in late fall. Climbing roses can be pruned in late summer. Tree roses should be pruned in early spring.

Once you know what kind of roses you have (check with the nursery where you purchased them) I suggest you find a good rose book for details on pruning--it's so much easier when you can see pictures, rather than trying to describe things in words! "Roses for Dummies", by Lance Walheim and the editors at National Gardening Association, is a good basic reference..

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