Do the full, vibrant blooms of a rose make your heart pitter patter? Roses have been favorite amongst gardeners since the dawn of time and even today most Americans say the rose is their favorite flower!
If you are the lucky and proud owner of a rose shrub, you know that we are now at the height of the pruning roses season. Protect your darling flora by ensuring you aren't accidentally making one of these common pruning mistakes to ensure you have a summer full of beautiful blooms! Happy National Rose Month!
1) You cut too much off
According to gardening experts at Flowerscapes Garden Design & Landscaping, you shouldn't prune more than half the plant's original height. Ideal pruning is between 1/3 and 1/2 the plants original height.
2) You left too much in the center
As gardening pro Douglas Hunt explains, "the goal of pruning a rose bush is to produce an open centered plant". Pay attention to stems or canes that crisscross, as well as any weak canes growing towards the center.
3) You cut too early
Lynne from Sensible Gardening advises that you mustwait until after the very last frost for pruning roses. Roses are delicate, be patient pruner.
4) You didn't cut with the right tool
It's important to go about pruning roses with a curved bland, so you don't avoid crushing the canes Lynne says. Use curved gardening shears for standing pruning, a pruning saw for large canes, and lopping shears with long handles for extra thick canes.
5) You didn't make angled cuts
You've probably heard it time and time again, but it's a very important step for properly pruning roses.The Master Gardeners of University of California provides this diagram to help illustrate the proper cut. The goal is to slope the cut away from the leaves, and just above the bud.
6) You cut healthy tissue
When pruning roses, it can be tricky to know what to cut and what to leave. Founder and owner of Flowerscapes Garden Design & Landscaping, Robby Deckert, has a great tip: "Cut the cane until you notice the center pith is creamy-white and not brown. This is healthy tissue and the cane will be green."
7) You fertilize too soon after pruning
You should avoid fertilizing your roses for about 3 weeks after pruning according to the gardening experts at Flowerscapes Garden Design & Landscaping.
8) You skip over the weak, energy sapping stems
Susan Fox, an expert on all things roses, says that when pruning roses, you should cut out any stem thinner than a pencil. These stems will not be productive, yet sap energy and nutrients from the rest of the plant.
9) You leave behind "bad" leaves
When pruning roses, you can't forget about the old leaves! According to the Master Gardeners of Tulare & Kings Counties at the University of California, you should remove every leaf from the newly pruned bush as diseases and insects tend to carry over in old leaves. Then, clean all leaves and debris away from the base of the plant. If necessary, they advised you even scrape away the scaly bark from the bud union and base of the plan.
10) You aren't even pruning!
Rose expert Susan Fox breaks it down to the basics: Pruning roses encourages new (and bigger!) blooms, overall healthy growth, and increased resistance to disease and other common plant problems.
For detailed steps on how, exactly, to prune your roses, check out this pruning guide by Hometalk's very own Rosarian, Susan Fox! She's gathered together her best thoughts and tips on pruning roses, fresh from completing her rose judging at the 2014 Biltmore Estate Rose Trial- how fabulous!
If you have a specific question about your roses, ask one of the Pros on Hometalk using the Q&A forum.
Let us know what's worked for you, or just share your drop dead goregous rose photos in the comments. We know there are a great deal of experienced pruners in our midst!