Saturday, May 15, 2010

Comments on Spring Rose Pruning by Gardener Dave

Just a couple of paragraphs, repeated from my blog posting of May 12th, 2009, “Spring Rose Pruning and Other Rosy Ramblings”:

1) Pruning: I DON’T try to save rose canes in the spring that are really dark in color or have “weather cankers” on them. They will almost NEVER support good roses later in the season, even if they have new sprouts on them. When you cut the canes back from the top, look for a healthy green cambium layer all the way around the cane down to the base, then stop pruning a bit above that point. This spring my roses will be severely pruned!

2) Pruning: I WAIT until late April or early May to prune the canes back. By that time you will have a pretty good idea of the extent of winter damage, and new sprouting growth will be evident. This last winter was hard on roses in our area, especially if they were exposed to below-zero temperatures and drying winds. In my first years of growing roses, I would prune canes back on mild days (during some of our “false springs” in February or March) only to prune them back some more after later cold spells. All right… I’ll admit that some years – such as this one – I just can’t stand the sight of ugly tall, brown, thorny canes, and I do lop them off early to improve the general appearance of the garden.

Gardener Dave