Want your roses to be in top shape come springtime? Experts say that the best time to prune roses is in late winter—that is, in late January or early to mid-February. So get those tools ready, and don’t be nervous. Pruning roses is a cinch as long as you know how. Here are some simple, easy gardening tips for pruning roses that will leave your plants healthy and ready to bloom.
Step One: In order to prune roses effectively, you need good, sharp tools and leather gloves to protect your hands. Believe us when we say that this is step is absolutely necessary. Dull cutters will leave you haggling with the plant and lack of gloves will leave your hands a mangled mess. You should also clear any debris away from the base of the rose bush before beginning to prune.
Step Two: Your first plan of attack should be to get rid of all dead, damaged and diseased wood. Don’t worry about stems—cut dead wood out at the base. If you cut and the “wound” of the plant is brown, you need to keep cutting. If it is green, then you have cut far enough. Don’t worry about hurting the plant by cutting too much away. Don’t bother with green canes if they are coming off of dead wood. If in doubt, cut it out. If you are removing an entire cane, make a flush cut.
Step Three: After removing all dead sections of the plant, cut out any remaining thin areas that appear overly twiggy, as well as sections that rub together. Make sure that all that remains is greenish white wood. Avoid cutting suckers; instead, try to remove them by ripping them out of their source. Try to cut the plant in a vase shape.
Step Four: You are now ready to prune the height of your rose bush. The most common method used to prune height is called the “moderate prune.” This means you should cut back the height of the plant by one half.
Step Five: Ideally, you should apply a sealing compound or paint to the plant wounds/cuts, in order to protect it against disease and pests. You can buy this paste at your local nursery, and it only takes a few minutes to apply.
And you’re done! When your rose bushes begin to break from their dormant period in the spring, you can give them a boost with some fertilizer. By following these easy gardening tips, you will enjoy lush, fragrant blooms, and you will ensure that your rose bush stays healthy.