Full Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 7:31 pm
Location: Central PA

Have roses and no idea what I'm doing

I have two "regular" rose bushes and what I think is a climbing bush. I didn't cut any back before winter due to a new baby. The climbing rose seems to have all kinds of new growth and looks better than last year when it didn't bloom at all. The two other rose bushes don't look good at all. There are some new leaves down at the bottom but other than that they look pretty dead. They are about 5 feet tall and I don't know if I need to cut them back or how far or anything. Did I kill them? Help.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

It's always OK to trim out dead branches and "deadhead" spent rose blooms. This helps the appearance of the plant and also keeps decay organism from getting a toehold on an otherwise sturdy plant.

My rose-pruning "window" is three weeks in January; sometimes as late as the first week of February.

For three Januaries in a row (2006, 2007, 2008), I had such a difficult January that the roses weren't truly pruned at all.

They're fine.

So, if you can get to them next year, that'll be great. In the meantime, your inability to prune them this year has affected their appearance, not their health. :)

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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Green Thumb
Posts: 429
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:12 am
Location: Southern California / USDA Zone 10

Yes, the roses are OK. I let mine speak to me but I live in a more temperate climate. My suggestion would be to trim and feed. Roses are actually quite hardy and you should see some new growth and buds by summer.

Good luck and let us know what happens. :)

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