Pruning Rose bushes - Knowledgebase Question

Commack, Ne
Avatar for rq10cm
Question by rq10cm
September 30, 2009
My Roses are getting a bit over grown. Last year I did not prune back but they are getting a little too big. How much can I prune back so I will still nice blooms next season. I live on Long Island.

Answer from NGA
September 30, 2009
Shrub roses can be pruned down to 24" above soil level without harm. Wait until they are dormant to prune, or wait until early spring just as new leaf buds begin to swell. At that time prune everything down to about knee level. Then choose 3-5 of the most vigorous looking canes to save and prune everything else out. The finished product should have a vase shape (open in the middle). Then you can prune the canes you saved to an outward facing bud in the direction you want new growth to take. Pruning in this way will keep the center of the plant open to good sunlight penetration and good air circulation, and it will promote lots of healthy stems and lots of flowers. Enjoy!

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