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Jun 13, 2020 9:55 PM CST
Thread OP

I have a huge over grown rosebush on our new property. We love it, but this year it was 10 feet tall and over 20 across in our small back yard. I took out all the super long suckers coming from around the main base but what's left is tall spindly and drooping with all the heavy blossoms. I really need some advice on how to trim it back. It's been our puppy play area. Nice and shady underneath and fun to play in. (We live in high desert country. )
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Jun 14, 2020 7:43 AM CST
Name: Christopher
New Brunswick, NJ, USA (Zone 7a)
It looks like you have what was originally two separate rose bushes. The five-petaled orange flowers are 'Austrian Copper', which does have a tendency to revert to the original species with solid yellow five-petaled blooms, as seen in your pics. But I also see what looks like 'Persian Yellow', the double form of the species. It seems odd to me that someone would plant them so close together, but there ya go.

'Austrian Copper'

Rosa foetida -- the original species

'Persian Yellow'

This and related species have been said to be "prone to dieback" -- which I think happens when they're pruned as one would other roses. When you shorten a living, vigorous shoot, that can trigger the cane dying back. Instead, look at where new shoots that haven't flowered this year are emerging behind the flowering shoots, which will happen when the bloom has finished. These will flower next year. You can cut the flowering shoots back to those new canes. If you want to be more drastic, look at the thick gray canes and see if there's something new coming from near their bases, and then cut the thick gray canes down to where that is happening. If there are no new non-flowering shoots coming from a thick gray cane, cut it down to the ground. Leave everything else. Do this after it flowers.


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