A rose bush is a brilliant, visually appealing addition to any yard or landscape. It offers bright new colors that really stand out among a sea of green grass.
But like most plants, even rose bushes must be pruned from time to time to preserve their appearance. So, what’s the best way to prune a rose bush?
When Should I Prune My Rose Bush?
Before we reveal the steps to pruning a rose bush, let’s first talk about when they should be pruned. A good rule of thumb is to prune rose bushes immediately after the last cold snap of the winter season.
Depending on your region, this may be as early as January or as late as April. Keep an eye on your weather forecast and begin pruning when there are no more cold snaps expected.
Rose bushes should also be pruned during the summer, between each flush of flowers. Doing so will give you greater control over the size, shape and overall growth of the rose bush.
Preparing Your Equipment
You’ll need two basic tools to prune a rose bush: a pair of pruning shears, and a pair of scissors. It’s recommended that you clean the blades of both tools with rubbing alcohol before using them. Even if they look clean from the outside, they could be harboring bacteria and mold that can otherwise damage your rose bush.
Making the Cut
When pruning a rose bush, use the pruning shears to make a 45-degree angle cut directly above the bud facing outwards. Some green thumbs suggest pruning to approximately half the bush’s size.
If your rose bush is 36 inches tall, for instance, you should prune it down to 18 inches. Of course, this is a generalized rule, so don’t feel like you must follow it with your landscaping projects.
Remove Dead and Dying Canes
Inspect your rose bush for signs of dead, dying or otherwise unhealthy canes. Leaving them in your rose bush can promote the spread of an infectious disease, which can subsequently threaten your entire bush. Go around and remove any dead or drying canes to prevent this from happening, keeping them far away from the healthy canes.
What About Cane Borers?
Many gardeners experience problems with cane borers, which can be devastating to a rose bush. If you are having trouble with cane borers, place a small amount of glue on the ends of the cut canes. This should prevent them from entering the cane without causing any damage to the bush.
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