Re-Pruning Roses

by Rebecca

QUESTION: I have botched my rose pruning this year.

Some canes are producing leaves while other canes are just now starting to leaf out. I don't know what I did wrong.

Last year, because the deer and rabbits had been eating them.

I pruned my shrub roses almost too severly but they came back o.k.

This year, I didn't prune as hard. Zone maps indicate I'm in zone six, but when I look closely at the zone maps, it looks like I might actually be in zone five because I live only a mile from Lake Michigan.

I have many rose bushes and have lost track of what types they are so trying to figure out how to prune each according to type is not possible. I know, I know.

I should've marked them better.

However, most are not fussy roses but are more of the shrub types,like Carpet Roses.

I do have some Peace Roses, a New Dawn and a David Austin. I only have two tea rose bushes.

I have a couple of questions. Is it too late to correct my pruning? Our spring has been abnormally cold so the roses are a few weeks behind schedule.

Also, what books about roses would you recommend?

I love roses and have been growing them for about eight years but feel I have so much to learn. Thank you for any help you can give me.

ANSWER: Hi Rebecca! If your rose bushes are leafing out now, I would not do another pruning at this time.

However, during summer, after the first flower flush is over, you could do another re-pruning, but only lightly.

Removing too much foilage would cause the roses to loose energy, and they need energy to flower well.

Hybrid tea roses (they have only one flower per stem) needs a harder pruning than shrub roses.
Here is my page about pruning roses just scroll down to pruning tea roses.
The New Dawn rose is a climber and you should remove, prune off, the least productive canes at the base each season. You can do that now if you haven't.

Removing old canes, will stimulate the rose to grow more base canes (long ones) that will grow the lateral short flowering shoots and give you lots more blooms.

You should also prune the short lateral flowering shots down to about 3 inches. You can still do that now.

Here is my page about caring for roses.
Best Regards,

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