How To Care For Old Rose Bushes?
QUESTION: I bought a house last year with many roses in my backyard along the fence and house.
They are beautiful when they bloom and I would like to respect the hours of dedication the former owners invested.
However, I've never had roses before and I don't know a thing about them.
My lawncare provider recommended that this winter I cut them back all the way to the ground!
This sounds extreme.
I know I have "knock-out" bushes which seem to do fine and then she also has all kinds of different colors of rose bushes that are very tall and only bloomed sparcely during last spring, summer, and fall.
I'm sure they had some disease and we did also suffer from a drought too.
I live in cincinnati, ohio and our winter has been harsh. I would like to prepare them for the upcoming Spring as best I can.
Where do I begin?
Thank you very much,
ANSWER: Hi Erin! I would not cut the rose bushes down to the ground this winter. That person don't know how to grow roses.
You should prune the roses, when all danger of frost is gone.
I recommend you prune the knockout roses first.
If you have once-blooming roses, you should only prune them AFTER flowering in summer.
Only feed the roses after they start to grow some foilage after the pruning.
Here is my page about old garden roses.