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Rose Pruning - Winter Edition

With all the different classes and types of roses, it's no wonder some are confused about when and how to prune them. Today we'll discuss winter pruning for roses growing in Richmond and central Virginia gardens.

Hybrid teas, floribundas, grandifloras and shrub roses benefit when pruned mid-winter to mid-spring. We schedule our Richmond rose customers for January, February and March to ensure all pruning is performed during dormancy and before new spring growth. A good indicator of timing is to have roses pruned before the forsythias bloom.

Pruning roses, as with any blooming plant, serves the purpose of improving the overall health of the plant and maximizing the growth of flowering wood. Old damaged canes, winter damage and diseased canes should be cut out. The result will be a plant that has less tangle, more air and light circulation, and better shape, setting the stage for spring growth.

Hybrid tea roses

Hybrid teas and floribundas

- Plan on removing about 1/2 to 2/3 of the plant

- Using sharp pruners, cut at a 45 degree angle to allow water to drain.

- Remove dead, diseased and crossing stems, leaving about five young stems

- Prune grandifloras similarly

- Pruning hard encourages the best blooms on new wood

Shrub roses

Shrub roses

- These will benefit from a lighter, less aggressive pruning

- Attention should be paid to new vs. old stems

- Using sharp pruners, cut out the oldest or damaged canes

- Protective gloves and clothing is a must!

- Pruning too hard will decrease summer flowering

Be sure roses are well mulched just after pruning to provide overwintering root protection. A 2-3" layer will go a long way to protect your pruned roses - not to mention to increase the visual appeal of your rose garden.

Complete, year-round rose care is a specialty of Terra Firma Landscaping. For over twenty years, we've provided pruning, deadheading, fertilizing and insect & disease control for some of the most particular rose gardens in Virginia. If you're not already familiar with our customized rose program, call or email us today for a consultation.

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