Roses forum: Pruning Roses

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Name: Molly McKinley
Florida Tundra
Charter ATP Member Roses Xeriscape Ponds Butterflies
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MollyMc
Mar 19, 2016 5:04 PM CST
With a lot of help from everyone here and the lady that sold me my last batch of roses, I took the courage to prune back all my plants.

Please understand my mentality, if the plant has green stems, I can't interrupt that. Seems that has been my problem with many plants I grow. So I end up with leggy, non-bushy plants. I am trying to break this thinking pattern, and I may be having some success.

So with encouragement , I bucked up and butchered.

Although nothing is blooming right now, I wanted to share the results of the hard prune this winter. I am tickled over how it has helped.
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Name: Molly McKinley
Florida Tundra
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MollyMc
Mar 19, 2016 5:07 PM CST
The only thing I didn't prune back was the knock out. And it's a little leggy. After some more reading I guess I should have done that one too. Back when I did this, I though they were hardy, disease resistant and low care/no care. I was probably wrong on that too.
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
Mar 19, 2016 7:08 PM CST
Molly, I have tried both ways on the Knock Out roses. My "unpruned for 8 years straight" group is about 5' tall, and they are bushy, not leggy. They bloom from top to bottom. Others that I have pruned down to 8" grew well, with the only difference being that they were only 4' tall at the end of the summer. I'm in zone 6/7, though, and have extreme heat and cold so my experience is very different from Florida. I grow all the Knock Out varieties, and for me, they bloom from April until November with no fertilizing, no pruning, no additional irrigation. I talk to them, and that's the care they get.
Having said that, I know how huge the KOs get in warmer zones, so you could still prune them now, slow down that growth and maybe prevent that legginess you see.
Your others look great! Hurray!
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Mar 19, 2016 7:16 PM CST

Moderator

Looks great, Molly!
Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a)
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javaMom
Mar 23, 2016 7:41 PM CST
Beautiful rose bushes Molly...talking about KO, made me feel so bad that I took one out last week because it gotten so big, I planted Savannah Sunbelt a couple days ago...hopefully I will know how to prune it right and it won't get so big...

Have a great night !
Name: Molly McKinley
Florida Tundra
Charter ATP Member Roses Xeriscape Ponds Butterflies
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MollyMc
Mar 24, 2016 7:23 AM CST
About those KO's. I forgot I had 2, far away from each other. One by the pond looked to be failing and I pruned it back (this one I forgot was KO) It's coming back now.

The other, I will probably prune today.

Went nursery shopping yesterday, so after desk work is done, I'm going outside.
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
Mar 24, 2016 8:01 AM CST
Very nice, Molly!

Regarding pruning, I used to be the same way. But then I read up and talked to relatives and developed this correlation: Think about it this way- you will go get a haircut, so you hair stays nice and healthy, otherwise it'll grow long and leggy........so why not give your plants the "haircut" they need to be healthy? It's a simplistic way of putting it, but it helps me visualize how I want to prune.

Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
Mar 24, 2016 8:35 AM CST
Petunias are the flowers I have trouble cutting back. It's so hard to trim gangly plants if there's one last bud wanting to open, even though I know I'll have more blooms later if I do trim. Seems cruel to cut off a bud that's worked so hard to get to that point. At least with roses, you get a break between flushes, and all you are cutting are leaves.
Even as a young child, I would pick up trimmings and plant them.
*Blush*
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
Mar 24, 2016 10:31 AM CST
Aw. Well I can see why that would cause a problem. You sound like a very nice, caring person because you care about the effort of the plant! I look at pruning (petunias) a different way, that it's the plant last gasp effort to flower so I'd better prune it and help it grow. Lol- not a very happy way to look at it but I can't help it.
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
Mar 24, 2016 10:36 AM CST
Oh, should've mentioned that with roses, if there is a little rose bud about to bloom but I feel like I need to prune the plant, I take the cutting and bring it inside to enjoy. Sometimes it'll last a week or so because it wasn't ready to open at time of cutting.
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Roses Ponds Peonies
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CindiKS
Mar 24, 2016 3:37 PM CST
Your way is definitely botanically correct! Maybe I can reprogram myself to think that way! I actually love pruning, so much that I have right and left handed pruners so when my hands get tired I can switch. Rolling my eyes.
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Molly McKinley
Florida Tundra
Charter ATP Member Roses Xeriscape Ponds Butterflies
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MollyMc
Apr 2, 2016 1:52 PM CST
Over ten years now here at this property. So many things have died that when it grew, I had to let it. It got to the point my paths were being taken over by crepe myrtles and lorepetelums and others. Only solution was to cut off their bottom branches to convince them to be trees, not bushes.

Roses were my last hold out and seeing how much good it has done, I should have done it sooner.

I posted this bed above and have since added some dianthus, red cardinal, gazania, gallardia and a few other annuals. We had t-storms here all morning and they are all happy. I have buds on the roses and they will show themselves this week. One of the lavender color did bloom last night bud a bit droopy from the rain.
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Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
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gemini_sage
Apr 4, 2016 4:27 PM CST
Molly, your roses look great! I tip my hat to you.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Molly McKinley
Florida Tundra
Charter ATP Member Roses Xeriscape Ponds Butterflies
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MollyMc
Apr 4, 2016 6:09 PM CST
Thanks Neal,

I couldn't help myself. I cut some of the rain wrinkled blooms along with a couple that had not opened yet. They are in a vase over my kitchen sink. They look a little wrinkled but still smell so good.
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
Apr 6, 2016 6:27 AM CST
Very nice- and healthy looking!!
Name: Molly McKinley
Florida Tundra
Charter ATP Member Roses Xeriscape Ponds Butterflies
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MollyMc
Apr 6, 2016 4:39 PM CST
Thanks Alyssa. 2 yellows are blooming, half a dozen buds on a pink one. As soon as they are fully out, I will post and name....if I can find the tags. LOL

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