Pruning Roses – You Can Do It!

 Border of Flower Carpet Roses

Border of Flower Carpet Roses

The Queen of Flowers, also known as the Rose, is a staple in many of our gardens. Some may have one or two shrubs as a focal point, and others have large collections of various types and sizes. Roses are actually quite hardy and only need a few regular maintenance tasks to continue to bring their beauty year after year. One of the most important tasks that our roses need is a regular spring pruning.

“Removal of old wood and damaged or diseased parts can allow a recuperative process to take place for increased growth… and then redirected to produce that first magnificent spring bloom.” (All About Pruning by Dr. Tommy Cairns).

 A rose pruner's toolkit

A rose pruner's toolkit

Before your rose shrubs fully leaf out this spring, it is time to prune them for a wonderful season of bloom and scent. Pruning roses is actually quite easy if you simply follow three basic steps:

  1. Cut back the deadwood and down slightly into the green wood of the cane.
  2. Remove any canes crossing one another or growing into the center of the shrub.
  3. When selecting the spot to prune, select a point just above a bud growing outward.

If you wish to know more, or would like to see some great pruning examples, I urge you to visit the American Rose Society’s many great articles on pruning, such as the article referenced above, which has great illustrative examples. You can find Dr. Cairns’ article on the web.

Or, read Ten Principles of Rose Pruning by  Robert B. Martin.