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Rescuing Roses

Rescuing Roses

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KSL Tips Larry A. Sagers Regional Horticulturist Utah State University Extension Thanksgiving Point Office

March 13 10:00 AM-12:30 PM or March 15 1:00-3:30 PM with Gretchen Campbell

This is a fun hands-on class. We will have about one hour of lecture then we will go out to the Rose garden in the Thanksgiving Gardens and instruct you there on how to prune roses. Fee: $10.00 Come prepared to go outside, also bring pruners, loppers and leather gloves. Call 801 768 7443 or Unless otherwise noted, you may register for program sections online or call the Institute at 801-768-4971 or toll-free 1-888-672-6040 (select Education option) to register.

After classifying your roses and assessing the damage, you can then start to prune. On the hybrid tea, grandiflora, and floribunda bush roses, prune them now before growth starts. These have to be pruned before they start to grow because the flowers come on wood that grows this season.

Start by cutting away all dead wood. Next, cut them to a uniform height, leaving as much good wood as possible. Make the cuts 1/4” above a strong outward facing bud. After most winters they are pruned to 12” because of winter damage but canes can be left as long as 24-30” if they were adequately protected by the deep snow.

Prune hybrid teas more severely than the others to help induce longer stem length and larger blossoms. Letting the cane remain longer canes produces more blossoms with shorter stems.

Limit your immediate pruning on hardy rambler and climbing roses to taking out the dead, broken or diseased canes. Delay the other pruning until after the plants flower. These types only flower once in a season so cutting them now only removes that buds that are going to flower later in the season.

After the plants stop blooming in late May or June, take out old, weak canes. Remove about one third of the older canes and let the same number of vigorous new canes replace them. Do not let canes grow for more than three seasons nor allow them to get too crowded.

Many hybrid tea climbers are not vigorous and are pruned during the dormant season. Remove broken or diseased canes and those damaged by cold temperatures. Prune climbing roses to make them fit the growing area. Training canes horizontally produces more flowers. Heading back long canes stimulates lateral growth for more blossoms and foliage.

Prune old-fashioned or species roses according to their bloom. Prune those that bloom once per season after they bloom. Cut long canes back a third and trim the lateral canes back a few inches. Prune repeat bloomers to shape and but do not cut them back too severely. Remove old canes as they lose vigor or become too crowded and damaged canes or unwanted, misdirected growth.

Rescuing rose will pay big dividends. Well pruning plant will shower your garden with exquisite flowers in the next few months and many will continue throughout the summer.


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