Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:06 pm
Location: Alexandria, VA

help with old roses

There are several rose bushes in my back yard. I would like to prune them so that they will bloom nicely this year. However I have no idea what I'm doing or what I am looking for. If anyone knows about and idiot's guide to roses I could use it. Currently they just look like over grown patches of thorns.

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Greener Thumb
Posts: 1023
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:50 pm
Location: England

Hi Abfrank.
It is slightly late to prune but if you do it now it will just delay flowering. You need to do "renovative pruning" which is slightly different from normal pruning. Follow the stems down to a nice healthy shoot not too low down on the stem (say leaving 3 or 4 shoots below) and then cut at an angle upwards towards the growth of the shoot. Think about the direction the branches will grow. cut above a shoot that is preferably in an outwards direction so they won't cross over each other as this could cause them to rub together leaving access for disease. You want a nice open structure so air can circulate freely. Cut out as low as possible any dead stuff and don't expect them to look marvelous this year. It may take a couple of years to get them looking good again. Next year cut slightly harder back. Don't forget to give them a good feed and a mulch.

I forgot to check where you were before writing all this so it may not be late to prune where you are. If there is no sign of growth yet wait until there is and then follow the above.l

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1868
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 10:44 pm
Location: Maryland zone 7

Hi Abfrank,

It's not too late to prune your roses where you are. After all, we had snow yesterday! Good advice from Jess. You might want to wait until you see bud break before pruning and until the temps won't go below freezing at night. You should find these pics herlpful.


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