roses - Knowledgebase Question

cleveland, Oh
Question by danielchrisz
March 29, 2010
i planted two rose bushes last spring gown on trellace. when do i cut them back and how far down?

Answer from NGA
March 29, 2010


Most climbing roses bloom at least twice each growing season: first on older branches and then on the current season?s growth. Pruning them while dormant in mid- to late winter will encourage plenty of late-season flowers. I like to start by removing any diseased, injured, or spindly branches, cutting them away flush with the cane from which they emerge. If any of the older, woody canes have failed to bloom well during the previous season, I will prune them off, too. Any canes that have outgrown their support will get a preliminary trim to set them back inbounds. I will also remove any crossing or awkwardly placed branches.

After pruning undesirable branches, I?ll step back, have a look at what remains, and choose the branches that will form the plant?s main framework for the upcoming season. I look for strong, healthy canes with plenty of swelling buds or side shoots (called laterals). I?ll need enough vigorous canes at various heights to cover the support from top to bottom without crossing. Any branches that don?t meet my criteria are removed.

Best wishes with your roses.

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