Pruning 2+ Year Old Iceberg Roses
And Watering

Hi Annelie,

We live in the San Fernando Valley and moved to this home 3 years ago. We planted bare root icebergs (from Costco) the next spring, some died and some are here but still small. We replaced the dead ones with rose plants and they seem to be doing ok. This is the first year that they appear to be blooming well. They do not look anything like the lovely rose loaded bushes that I see as I drive around. We have never pruned these roses. Is it ok to do so after 2-3 years in January coming? We have 20+ icebergs along our driveway. Also, we are on very sandy soft soil.

I was told that roses like wet feet, so we've been watering everyday. Is that wise? I was also told that we do not need to deadhead icebergs. Is that true?

Hi Tess,
I am glad you contacted me, because you really need some help with your Iceberg roses.
I don't know who told you that roses "like" wet feet, because they actually hate "wet feet". In fact overly wet soil that doesn't drain well, will kill a rose quickly.
Your roses are saved by your sandy soil. However sandy soil needs to be amended with 50% organic compost so the roses will thrive. Sandy soil is lacking in nutrients that roses like. If you didn't amend the soil when you planted them, go ahead and do that now. Work in plenty of compost every year, after the annual pruning.
The person who told you not to deadhead the Iceberg rose blooms, is also dead wrong.
Here is my page about deadheading roses.
Not removing spent blooms results in the roses setting seeds and dramatically slowing flower production.
You should prune your roses in early January or late December in your area.
Iceberg roses are floribundas and should be pruned accordingly. Here is my page about pruning floribunda roses.
Watering your roses every day is not a good idea, because they will not develop deep roots that way.
Deep watering 3 times a week should be good, except when temperatures are extremely high, which they are during summer in San Fernando Valley in Southern California.
Use a Moisture Meter to check if your roses need watering. It's a very handy tool. (under $10).
Here is my page about watering roses.
You might benefit from reading my page about caring for roses.
Happy Day
... Annelie

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