Ask a Question forum: rose pruning blackened canes

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Name: Annie A
Alton, Nh (Zone 5a)
AnnieAlton
Apr 15, 2017 12:39 PM CST
It's mid April here in NH (zone 5) and we still have some snow on the ground. I have some new knockout roses planted last spring/ summer that never got cutback in the fall because they were still blooming and after our first snowfall I haven't really seen the roses they have been covered in snow. Now that it has melted I noticed most of the canes of these roses are totally black! What causes this and should I prune this all out? ( there won't be many canes left if I do) Are these roses basically dead? I'm new to this area so I'm unfamiliar with gardening here. I came from Calif. so It is totally different gardening. Thanks for your help!
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Apr 15, 2017 1:00 PM CST
The black canes are dead so you should definitely cut them out. I doubt the whole plant is dead, however; just give them some time and they will probably send up new shoots.
Porkpal
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Apr 15, 2017 1:07 PM CST
Annie.... Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! You mentioned you were concerned that you hadn't done any cutting back in the fall. My experience is that is best to do little or no pruning in the fall and wait til spring.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 15, 2017 2:56 PM CST
I was originally from California too and its a steep learning curve. Do ALL your pruning and cleanup in the spring. Something we would have never done in CA because we wanted winter neat and to get rid of any hiding places for overwintering bugs.

Now, we want some insulation from the cold (from all the dead stuff) and for any winter die back to happen before pruning instead of after. The other thing I have learned is that if you buy self rooted roses, even if you lose the whole top, the root will grow a new plant identical to the one you planted.

I only add new plants in the spring and early summer so they have plenty of time to acclimate and root before winter.
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