Roses forum→Pruning General Stefanik

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Tuscany, Italy
bart2018
May 17, 2020 4:20 AM CST
Can anyone give me tips on how to prune this rose? In my garden, in Italy, it has become so huge,with long(3meters or more) canes flopping all over. It's also at least 3 meters wide, and,very, very dense. The main problem is that, when it was smaller,I remember it as being so spectacular when in flower-covered with medium-sized blooms. Now, the blooms are much smaller, and less abundant; I suspect that the plant has become "too big for it's britches", as it were. My idea for this year was to cut it way back after it blooms-but by how much? The shape of the shrub was very graceful, before it started to produce the buds, which then weighed down those long, long shoots,which are now looking just messy...The General is a once-blooming Hybrid Perpetual.Thanks in advance!
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
Image
seilMI
May 18, 2020 6:02 PM CST
Right after it finishes blooming you can prune it however you need to. Don't do it before it blooms or you will lose all of your bloom for this year. If you wait too lang after it blooms you will cut off what it needs for next years bloom. Right after it blooms is the sweet spot! The rule of thumb is to take 1/3 and no more than 2/3 of the plant.
Tuscany, Italy
bart2018
May 19, 2020 3:26 AM CST
Thanks, Seil. I may go for almost 2/3 . I pruned it before,last year ,though probably too late after it finished blooming; I didn't realize that timing was important,frankly! maybe THAT is why I'm getting fewer flowers. Also, I mostly removed old wood from the base; didn't treat it as a shrub, because I liked what was at the time a "graceful arching shape"-and what is now, with the weight of the buds and opening blooms,nought but a floppy mess. So I think some decisive shortening of the plant is worth a try. Thank you again for your help!
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
Image
seilMI
May 19, 2020 8:20 PM CST
Removing old wood is the worst thing for once bloomers! They only bloom on canes that are at least one year old wood. That's why you want to cut them back right after they bloom. That way the canes have the full rest of the season to grow out and mature to set new buds next spring. You can, of course, take out dead wood at anytime though. Please post a picture when it blooms!

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