Ask the ExpertsRose Pruning TipsMarch 16, 2020Pruning roses can be pretty intimidating to some. After all, roses have a reputation for being difficult to grow. However, once you get the upper hand with proper fertilization and pruning techniques, we’re pretty sure that they will be one of your favorite blooms to grow.Pruning is an essential element of rose care. (1) We understand that some might be confused about the concept of pruning. It might seem counter-intuitive to cut back beautiful growth, but this practice actually helps shape the plant, encourages new growth, and lessens the risk of fungal disease.Don’t worry, every valuable skill takes time and practice. You might be comforted knowing that skilled gardeners agree that it is very hard to kill a rose bush!Let these tips from Southern Botanical, your landscaping services company in Dallas, Texas guide you. Before you start, make sure that you have the following:Thick gardening gloves – it’s preferable that you get ones that cover your armsA long-sleeved shirtBypass pruning shearsCanvas jeans or pantsLong-handled loppersWhen should you prune?Timing is critical. Let the class of the rose plant guide you, as well as the hardiness zone (2) in which it grows. It’s ideal to prune roses sometime before spring – between February and March (3) – before the blooms begin to show.Check the leaf buds on the plant. When it takes on a reddish or pink hue and starts to swell, it’s high time to prune.Pruning tips1. Prune from the ground up. Go low and prune off dead canes at the base. To allow air circulation and light, open up the center of the plant. Air circulation is important for roses, as it helps prevent moisture buildup. Too much moisture will make your plants prone to insect infection or fungal disease.2. Remove dead, broken, and diseased wood. Any canes that are thinner than a pencil should be removed. They will produce very little blooms and will grow gangly.3. Prune. Shape the plant to your desired look. When making cuts, make sure that you keep it clean, at a 45 ° angle. (4) Cuts should be no more than ¼ inch above a bud.Pruning specifications are largely dependent on the classification and type of your rose plant. Before you prune, make sure that you fully understand the specifications of your rose’s variety.Still not ready to raise your shears with confidence? Southern Botanical, your landscaping services company in Dallas, Texas can help. Give us a call today at 214.366.2103.Sources:(1) “Pruning Roses.” Clemenson College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, 27 Jun. 1999, https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/pruning-roses/.(2) “USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.” United States Department of Agriculture, https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/.(3) “Rose pruning: general tips.” RHS, https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=186.(4) “Basic Pruning Principles.” American Rose Society, 3 Apr. 2018, https://www.rose.org/single-post/2018/04/02/Basic-Pruning-Principles.