Haileyjh
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:31 pm

How to prune huge overgrown rose bush

I bought a house last summer that has 10 rose bushes. I am brand new to rose gardening, but have been working to learn how to properly care for them. These rose bushes are probably 8 years old, and as far as I can tell have never been properly pruned. One in particular has beautiful red roses, but it is overhanging my front walk and needs to be cut back. Everything I've read online says to leave green canes, but as far as I can see, this plant doesn't have any. It is about 7 ft tall and the bottom 3 ft are just thorny, 1-2" diameter red canes without any leaf buds. Also, the bud union is above ground by about 1" instead of being below ground.

I'd really like to save the plant because I love the deep red roses, but do I need to just dig it out and start new? Any pointers on how to choose what canes to prune if I decide to try to save it?

imafan26
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: How to prune huge overgrown rose bush

First of all it will be good to know what kind of rose bush it is. A hybrid tea, shrub rose or rambler would be treated differently. Pruning needs to be surgical and done carefully. Roses have thorns and you are going to get scratched so make it worthwhile.

The American rose society has tips for pruning roses.
https://www.rose.org/rose-care-articles/ ... e-pruning/
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Haileyjh
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:31 pm

Re: How to prune huge overgrown rose bush

I believe this particular rose is a hybrid tea. I guess my real question is, at what point is an overgrown plant a lost cause? All of my other rose bushes have pruned down nicely following the instructions in the link you posted and many similar ones. This last one has me stumped though.

imafan26
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Posts: 11241
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: How to prune huge overgrown rose bush

If the rose is alive it is not a lost cause. It will be hard to cut it down. Usually you will cut roses back hard once a year to the five strongest canes. I have to paint anything that is over 1/2 cut because if I don't the cane is likely to die back. People use elmer's glue and nail polish, but I am old school and use pruning paint on a q-tip. Feed the roses after pruning and clean up well. Make sure your tools are clean and sharp and use alcohol after each cut and a torch between roses.

Over time my roses have lost canes to the point where I only have one left and now they look like tree roses.

Roses can live for more than 20 years if treated reasonably well, they are tougher than they look.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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