If not properly pruned, rose bushes can develop into a large tangled mess and produce small, inferior blooms. If you would like to grow an attractive, well shaped, sizable rose bush that produces large lovely blooms, then follow the rose gardening tips outlined below.
Pruning your rose bushes at the right time of year can be just as important as how you prune. Rose bushes go dormant during the colder months and should not be pruned until they come out of this stage. This could be as early as January in warmer climates or as late as April in colder regions. In colder climates, it is best not to prune until all traces of frost has disappeared.
Another important aspect to consider when rose bush trimming is the proper use of hand garden tools. A good set of pruning shears as well as good quality leather garden gloves, is a definite must have. The shears must be sharp, otherwise you will risk tearing your stems instead of just cutting them. A well lubricated, fine toothed, sharp, cutting saw is ideal to use on the older, much larger stems.
You never want to cut your stems straight across. Always cut at an angle between 40 to 65 degrees. Additionally, make sure that the shear’s cutting blade is on the underneath side of the stem in order to produce a clean cut. Always cut upward. This way, any injury to the plant will be on the upper part of the stem. Try to make all cuts at about one quarter inch from a strong outside bud union or eye, the eye is where the new growth stems form.
It is also a good idea to have some type of sealer or pruning paint to seal the larger cuts. Just apply the pruning sealer to the cut ends immediately after shearing. This will aid in the healing process and it will also help keep the insects out as well as eliminating any possiblity of disease.
Take special care in the amount that you prune at any given time. This will all depend upon what you are trying to accomplish and on how well established the plant is. Moderate pruning, leaving 5 or more stems of up to 24 inches in length, will produce a large bush with nice, moderately sized, blooms. Light pruning, stems 3 to 4 feet in length, will produce an even larger bush but with smaller blooms on shorter stems. Light pruning is good for new or weaker plants. Heavy pruning, 3 to 4 stems from 6 to 12 inches in length will produce the largest, showiest blooms, however if the plant is too new or weak you may end up reducing the plants life span. It is best to wait until the rose bush has matured when applying the heavy pruning method.
When pruning roots, remove all suckers. Suckers are shoots that grow from the root stock. This is different from the grafted bush. Suckers may eventually take over the plant completely and kill the bush, so it is very important that they be removed.You can recognize a sucker when you see that it is coming from below the bud union and by the different leaf form and color. Always pull the sucker off rather than cutting it as cutting will stimulate growth again. Pulling if off causes the wound to form a callous.
Additionally when plant pruning, cut out all weak, spindly and deformed stems, and if possible cut out branches growing toward the center of the bush. If stems cross each other, remove the weaker one. Proper shaping and pruning makes for a lovelier bush and allows proper air circulation which will produce a much healthier plant.
This is but a small excerpt from one of 12 of my bonus books which you will get free when you order my ebook: Holistic Herbs ~ A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening. Learn more about Herbs!
Kali S Winters