Rose Bushes




All about Roses, Rose Bushes, and Their Care.

Pruning Your Rose Bushes

When it comes to roses, good pruning is essential to good health. Pruning removes dead wood, controls the shape of your bush, and encourages vigour and healthy flowers. The time to prune is in late winter while your bushes are still dormant, just before you put down your first application of fertilizer.

It’s best to prune with very sharp pruning shears. The cleaner the cut, the more easily your rosebush can heal and grow. Don’t put anything on the wound—it’ll heal nicely by itself. The year you first put a rosebush in the ground and the year after it does not need pruning. Before the third growing season it is time to prune heavily—in addition to your regular pruning, standard practice is to shear off the top third of the bush at this time.

Both in the third year and in every other, pruning should include completely cutting out any dead wood. Also remove any branches that are rubbing, crossed with other branches, damaged, or diseased. If you aren’t sure whether a stem is dead or not, cautiously check the color of the inner core. If it is green, the wood is still alive. If it is brown, it is dead.

If you think your rosebush is healthy enough to take vigorous pruning, cut back to two or three buds and all of the lateral branches that bore flowers during the preceding year. Canes that grow in the wrong direction can be trained or simply removed. Each of the remaining stems should have the growth bud facing out. It will look like a slight scar or line on the smooth bark of the rose
bush.

Last but not least, remember that whenever you cut a rose off you bush, even to deadhead, you are pruning it. Take care to make your cuts just above a fully developed leaf to encourage strong new growth. Your bushes will be grateful, and reward you with big, beautiful blooms. Happy Growing!

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