Roses forum→pruning roses

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yakima, WA
Garden_Mama
Jan 18, 2021 11:44 AM CST
My roses are beginning to bud out and its mid January. I want to prune them, but I'm afraid we still have some winter left. We've had temps in the 40s during the day 30s at night, but we still may have a hard freeze or more snow. I did not prune very hard last year and I would really like to take them down quite a bit. Will it hurt to prune them now? Or would it be better to wait and prune them later, even if they start budding out and blooming? We are in the 6b-7a zone. Just a mild winter so far.
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
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gardenfish
Jan 18, 2021 12:26 PM CST
Welcome! the same is happening here! I've seen this before. I usually stick to my schedule to cut them back, which here in my zone is Valentine's Day. I'm a bit warmer than you, when do you normally do yours? I don't think it would hurt to do it now, but not sure about that. I'm betting someone else will chime in to help. I've done mine as late as late March and they were ok, it just set back the blooming a bit.
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Name: Luis
Hurst, TX (Zone 8a)
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luis_pr
Jan 18, 2021 2:11 PM CST
When my temperatures girate a lot, the roses tend to start flowering in January (like this year... azaleas, quinces and roses are blooming) but, I know that later in Jan or Feb, there will usually be temp drops so, instead of pruning them when it is too warm, I wait to prune later. But I have done it in January before and they were fine as long as I kept them mulched and watered before any big temperature drops.

At worst, the ends of the canes browned out after I pruned (and were followed by cold weather) and after the temperatures tanked. But not much.
[Last edited by luis_pr - Jan 18, 2021 4:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
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gardenfish
Jan 18, 2021 2:21 PM CST
We often get our worst weather and lowest temps in February.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jan 18, 2021 9:33 PM CST
Traditionally, our lowest temperatures are mid-February so I wait until the end of February or the first of March to prune, even if it means cuttng off new growth. My reason: If you prune and then get a hard frost, the die back will be from where you pruned. If you had waited, the die back would be from the un-pruned tips. There are years where plants grow smaller instead of larger because of early pruning and late freezes.
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Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
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gardenfish
Jan 19, 2021 3:12 AM CST
Yeah, that's my thinking on this. I've cut them late; that's ok, it just delays the blooming a bit.
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Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
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seilMI
Jan 19, 2021 5:31 PM CST
Stick to your regular pruning time. From experience, you can't trust Mother Nature. If you prune deep now and then you have a freeze you cold lose them altogether. Better to wait until you're sure they won't get zapped.
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
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gardenfish
Jan 20, 2021 3:40 AM CST
Yes. Like I said before, trimming later is ok, it just delays blooming a bit. Better to be safe than sorry. We've had some very late freezes in the past few years.
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Name: aka Annie
WA-rural 8a to (Zone 7b)
Sandsock
Jan 21, 2021 10:36 PM CST
I agree with Seil...it may be lovely and warm now...I planted trees in Jan last year it was so warm....but they leafed out and I had to protect them most of Feb. Of course..we are closer to the Sound z8

The other thing is that one nurseryman was talking about how pruning roses back to about 3 feet gave them more blooms than the lower pruning.
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
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gardenfish
Jan 22, 2021 12:53 AM CST
I cut mine back further than that because they tend to get scraggly. They also lose the bottom leaves due to blackspot, so they look better trimmed further back.
“ Be kind whenever possible”
14th Dalai Lama

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