Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Spring rose pruning tips


Late April into May is the time to prune your roses. We’ll still get some temperature fluctuations but it’s time to inspect your roses and see how they fared through the winter.
Start by pulling back the mulch. It’s best to remove mulch gradually over the course of several days. This will allow the rose to adjust to the change in soil temperature.

Check for cane dieback. Roses, like other trees and shrubs in your landscape took a beating from the sudden and dramatic temperature swing last November. Some roses didn’t survive the winter.

What you’re looking for now is the tender new growth at the base of the plant. Even if you don’t see growth now, don’t assume your rose is dead. Wait a few more weeks to see if growth appears.
You can see on this cane where the green growth begins, so you want to cut past this point. Select an outward facing bud eye and make the cut about a ¼" above the bud eye.
Angle the cut away from the bud eye. Pruning cuts made this way will keep the rose growing outward. Even with mounding for winter protection, roses can experience significant dieback, such as this one.
Cut back brown canes to healthy growth. This may mean you’ll cut the canes almost to the ground, in some cases. Use a good bypass hand pruner for medium sized canes and a long handled lopping pruner for larger canes.
After removing all the brown canes, this hybrid rose is ready for spring.

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