Roses are so beautiful to look at and smell. I just love the calming feeling I get by the smell alone. They can be high maintenance to take care of, but I love them still. Keeping them from getting out of control is a yearly job that many seem to love. There are even such things as rose garden society types who will compete and challenge you to a rose dual if you get in their way. These serious rose garden connoisseurs can produce some of the most magnificent roses anyone has ever seen. For the regular people of the world, we just need to know how to prune roses and keep them looking great in our yards.
The act of pruning
Pruning roses consists of cutting away parts of the rose bush that is no longer needed. It may sound harder than it looks but once you try it, you will get the hang of it. This will help the rose to produce new growth, give it a more pleasing shape, and assist with air circulation. Removing all of the dead wood and leaves will also help the plant to look healthier.
What you will need
- Thick garden gloves
- Bypass pruner or long handle lopper
Prune, Prune, Prune
If you have several rose bushes it is advised that you clean the blades on the pruners with alcohol so you won’t spread disease to the next rose bush.
Make 45 degree-angled cuts that are ¼ inch above a bud. Look for buds that are facing outwards and cut above that. This will allow your plant to grow outwards and create a bowl like shape. Start at the base of the plant and look for dead wood and tiny branches as small as a pencil.
Get rid of all of the old leaves, dead wood, and diseased wood, as well as skinny branches. Remove the “suckers,” which are stems growing from the bud union that grow tall and have no rose buds on it. They will take energy from your rose bush. Don’t just cut them, but try to pull them up by hand and break them off. If you cut them, they will just come back later.
Remove all of the leaves until your bush is completely bare. You will be left with sticks in the ground by the time you are done.
The avid rose gardener will prune roses in January or February, but in many cases it all depends on what type of rose bush you have. Find out what kind of bush you have to determine what the best time is for you.
Even if you make a mistake, roses are very forgiving and will still recover and reward you with blooms. Keep trying until you feel comfortable, because after a while it will become very soothing and meditative to spend that special time in your rose garden.
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