Simple But Important
Pruning Roses is an unnecessary activity unless you want to actually have decent large Roses.
There are lots of shrub roses and single flowered landscape Roses that require a minimum of pruning. If you want large flowered traditional Roses such as Hybrid Teas then you need to learn some simple basic pruning techniques. Even in climates where the canes are not killed by the cold weather, pruning Roses will be necessary to get those big full flowers. In the late autumn the long Rose canes need to be cut back to about one third of their length. The sole purpose of this quick fall pruning is reduce the amount the canes are whipped by the wind during the winter.
Which Canes to Prune? A mature rose should start with 3 - 5 strong canes. All of the smaller and thinner canes should be pruned as close to the ground as possible.
Where To Cut? You should choose to retain thick canes that are well spaced and do your spring pruning after the buds have started to grow. Only when you can see where the viable living buds are can you make the final cuts. Each cane could have 2 or 3 healthy growing buds. You cut just above a strong bud that is growing out away from the centre of the bush. That outward growing bud will make a wider more open Rose making room for lots of blooms.
Special Cases! The tree Rose that I have developed from a hardy rose grows quite rapidly and needs some severe pruning to retain its size and shape.
Pruning Roses is a very necessary task but not a difficult or tricky one. Take out the thin ones. Choose 3 - 5 strong canes. When the buds are starting, cut to a strong outward growing one. It really is that simple.
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