Ask a Question forum: Help me prune these poor neglected roses!

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Jul 23, 2016 2:48 PM CST
Hey everybody, thanks so much for taking the time to read my post..

I just recently started working at a care home and noticed a number of ivy-ridden rose bushes. After removing 2 garbage cans full of ivy I uncovered these beauties!

Unfortunately, I know very little about gardening and even less about pruning rose bushes.

If anybody could be so kind as to perhaps show me where these should be cut to maximize rose production, I would be forever grateful!

It appears they've been pruned several times, but I'm not sure if it was done correctly. I have the tools to remove small/large portions so if you have a moment, please make me a cut map or something of the sort? Thanks!
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jul 23, 2016 8:28 PM CST

Plants Admin

Welcome to NGA, coreywoo. This is not a good time of year for pruning, and I also don't see any need to prune any of these roses. I don't see any dead canes to be removed. I do see leafless parts near the bottom of the canes, but that could have happened because the ivy was robbing that part of the rose of sunlight. Let them grow without the ivy for a while before you consider pruning them at all. People used to think pruning was good for roses, but in most cases it's unnecessary. Keep them well watered now that they're newly exposed.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Jul 23, 2016 8:45 PM CST
Cut out anything that is dead. Cut off anything that appears deformed or badly shaped that you just don't like the looks off. Sometimes cutting of long lanky canes will make them grow back fuller-forcing them to grow out some side branches. What you can do is google pruning roses or find a book at your local library with photos to help you see it. It will also tell you how to otherwise care for them if you are new to roses.

this is a great book, I checked it out from my library, it has a lot of info on pruning, fertilizing, selecting roses, winter care ect.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Jul 23, 2016 8:54 PM CST
I agree with Zuzu, though. This is not the time of year to prune roses.

They need water, and once they have more leaves, a little ! ! fertilizer will help them too. But most of all they need what you already have done, to be freed of the ivy! Sunlight is the most important thing now, and Mother Nature will supply that for at least another month or so.

Next spring, if you are still keen to make them grow well, some top dressing (new, good compost or something) and some pelleted slow-release fertilizer formulated for roses will give them a big boost to look beautiful next summer. Put this on when the new growth is a few inches long. Then, once again make sure they are getting enough water, and keep an eye out for that wretched ivy to return!

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Jul 23, 2016 9:17 PM CST
I agree, too hot right now to prune, otoh, where are you? It is a good idea to post your zone, or the state you live in. Pruning generally spurs a plant to want to put on new growth, which is too hot right to do well. Pruning things too close to winter-late fall is a bad idea too because then new growth can be frost damaged, the plant tries to put on new growth, when it should be going dormant. I would say spring is the best time to hard prune a rose, but now that the ivy is away, it may grow out some nice stuff. I'd just give it a good dose of water and put some mulch around it for now like Elaine suggested. Zuzu is right, the roses will probably fill in nicely and not need any pruning, just cut off anything that is obviously dead. If you are not sure, don't cut it, because roses can kinda look dead sometimes and make a comeback.
Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
Amaryllis Sempervivums Roses Bookworm Annuals Composter
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Jul 24, 2016 10:48 AM CST
I would only cut out the dead parts right now, and then give them some TLC. A slow release fertilizer perhaps, and water. Try not to splash the water on the actual bush, and try to water in the morning to avoid black spot. Also, my roses love coffee grounds, banana peels and egg shells, so you might give those to your roses instead of throwing them away.
Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.

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