Suggested Pruning Techniques for Old Garden Roses

The techniques suggested below are simply guidelines which can be followed. Many varieties. of roses respond differently to various methods and if a particular variety is not producing the desired effect, try another technique. Just remember:

    1. Severe early spring pruning on one-time bloomers will sacrifice bloom.
    2. Sometimes a hard cut-back will tend to restore a weak bush.
    3. A bush well “shaped up” every year will be more satisfactory than a bush allowed to go rampant for several years, then cut back.

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June Rose Growing Notes

by Marty Reich, Master Rosarian, Editor of the Rose Leaf

Louis Philip, one of the OGRs planted in the Adelicia Acklen Rose Garden at Belmont University, Photo by Pam Graves Brown
By now you have done spring feeding and have enjoyed the first bloom cycle. Be sure to dead-head everything, meaning to cut off the spent blooms, to make the bushes look better and to encourage them to re-bloom. You should go down to a strong part of the cane where there are 5 leaflets from an outward facing node and cut 1/4″ above it. Sometimes a node has a dark spot on it signaling that new growth will not come from there so you may need to go up or down to avoid it.
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March Rose Growing Notes

by Marty Reich, Master Rosarian, Editor of the Rose Leaf

Pruning is on all rosarian minds right now. Should I or shouldn’t I, that is the question? These mild winters are confusing to both roses and rosarians. We used to say prune when the forsythia blooms, but there are newer varieties of forsythia which bloom perhaps too early. In the last Rose Leaf I talked about pruning Austins and climbers in February. I just pruned some shrubs as well. Last year I pruned my HTs and Fls March 16-18, did some touch-up pruning April 28 and the garden was in full bloom (climbers and all) May 14. That is a general plan for me again this year.

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