Properly pruning your rose bush is the key to producing large blooms and healthy plants. It will be tempting to prune the rose bush while you’re cleaning up after summer gardens. However, this could be detrimental to the rose bush. Pruning during the summer should only involve dead heading. Dead heading is the process of pulling the bloom off the plan when it wilts. Doing this will promote new blooms. Any cuts to stems or branches should be limited to dead foliage. Rose bushes are very susceptible during hot temperatures to parasites and bacteria. I’ve lost a few rose bushes by not following these guidelines. It can be an expensive lesson so I wanted to share with everyone.
Time of Year to Prune a Rose Bush
Winter is the best time to prune your rose bush. The key to pruning is to shape the rose bush in the way that you like. I prefer mine to be 3 to 4 feet tall so during winter I will only cut back 12 to 18 inches at maximum. That way in spring the bush is back to 3 to 4 feet very quickly.
Any branches that cross or rub against other branches will need to be cut back to the stem. Any branches that rub will introduce a weak spot for bacteria or parasites in the warmer months. The rose bush should be vase shaped after pruning. Once the spring hits new foliage will appear and fill in around the stems. The distance between the stems will allow for more blooms to develop.
Use the Right Tools
Another key to pruning is to use sharp and clean shears. I would not ever recommend using hedge trimmers on a rose bush. The hedge trimmer will not produce clean cuts that are needed to protect the rose bush. Another mistake I’ve made and regretted after a 3 year old rose bush died on me.
Enjoy the Results
Rose bushes are a wonderful addition to any landscaping. They will take more time to trim, prune, fertilize but it will pay off in wonderful blooms if done correctly. Any questions please feel free to reach out.