Wandering Rose Bush

When I bought this home, I inherited a couple of rose bushes that have never seen a pruning shear - ever. Now I have these sprawling stems that no way resemble a rose BUSH.
Do I prune the heck out of it (and when) or is it too late and just accept it as it is.

  7 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on May 15, 2018

    roses should be pruned when dormant in the winter or early spring

  • Pat Russell Pat Russell on May 15, 2018

    Roses are pretty hardy (especially this one!) so I would prune lavishly, feed and water and see what happens! None of our roses are fancies and this is the treatment we use. If you cut off the blooms as they fade, more buds will come.

  • Might be too late this season to to prune back now. Live with it this summer and correct the problem this winter. Typically "pruning" is done in late winter to early spring while dormant, before it starts leafing out. Without a photo, it is hard to judge, since they have never been pruned, even though roses are hardier than most people think, I would hesitate to prune completely back as it might shock it too much and die. My suggestion would be to trim aka deadhead this season, and prune back about a third of it this winter, and the next third the following winter. At least that is what I would do.

    Contact your local Ag Extension for local advice, they may be able to offer better suggestions.

    • See 1 previous
    • You are so welcome! Just dead head, trim and fertilize this year and make corrections over the next few winter seasons. As long as it is healthy and blooming you should be good to go. 🌹

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on May 15, 2018

    you could prune the longer branches now but wait and do a good pruning after the blooming season usually fall- cut off all old wood and dead wood go to walterreeves.com he is a master gardener

  • I would cut it down, getting rid of any dead canes. Look for any crossing canes and cut them too. It's been around a long time...it can take a good pruning!

    • Ellis B. Stewart Ellis B. Stewart on May 15, 2018

      Thank you for your reply. I too have thought about cutting it down and hoping for the best.....but, the problem is that the non-producing canes that the producing ones come out of, are about 2 feet tall, making it sorta ugly to begin with. Maybe a radical pruning is what it needs, but I also concur with the 1/3rd pruning, which would probably leave only the ugly part to begin growing again next year. Dilema!

  • Sus7887901 Sus7887901 on May 15, 2018

    Prune 1/3 of branches at a time, it will take a little work to get it into shape

    • Ellis B. Stewart Ellis B. Stewart on May 15, 2018

      I think you're right - takes patience which I sorely lack. Am think now I should replant it this Fall and just get another rose bush next Spring and begin anew. Thanks for your reply! I appreciate it.

  • Ellis B. Stewart Ellis B. Stewart on May 15, 2018

    Between all the answers I've received, I think this is now RESOLVED. I'm gonna transplant this Fall (dormant) and replace it with a new Rose Bush next Spring and keep it pruned properly. The transplant, in a less conspicuous place, I can use patience and cut 1/3rd per year to try and bring it back to a "normal" bush. Thanks everyone for the answers, and so quickly too!