The subject of pruning roses seems to strike terror into the mind of new rose growers. But it is meant to be done. If we remember the goal of all pruning is to help the plant provide new growth, remain healthy and to encourage vigorous flowering, the task just gets easier.
So let’s start with deciding the time which is favorable for pruning, Usually the apt weather to prune is in the early spring just as new growth starts to bud. Now there is a word of caution on the time issue too if you start too early the new growth will get stunted by the chill depending on which part of the world you live in or if you start late it will weaken the plant and as the sap will already been formed inside the plant it will cause loss of sap and other critical nutrients.
Pruning roses helps in plant growth as it tells the plant to send extra sap and nutrition to the pruned stem. All cuts should be made with a sharpened pruner, 1/4th of an inch above an outward facing bud at 45 degree angle and it will be helpful if the blade is first washed off with alcohol/sanitizer to get rid of from the communicable diseases from other plants like black spots etc. Apply a little bit of white glue at the cut if there is a problem regarding pests or cane borers in your area as they can go in and damage the plant.
Methods of Pruning
1. Hard Pruning: This method is preferred for newly planted roses and exhibition rose plants. In this method canes are cut down up to 14 cm (4.5 inches). This method is helpful in building a rugged root system and to increase bud unions growth.
2. Moderate Pruning: Rose stems are cut back up to half of their size. We see this method followed with Hybrid Teas and Floribundas.
3. Light Pruning: This method is used for vigorous bushes which are cut to 2/3rd of their length, this is not a favorable method as it builds a large bush.
4. Easy-Care Method: In this method the bush is cut in half with help of a trimmer and dead wood can be plucked out if you wish to.
Pruning should be meant for the purpose of reenergizing the plant by giving it the opportunity to get air and light so some steps should be followed which are listed below.
1. Use rust free and sharpened tools. (oiling of blades prevents rust formation)
2. Pruning should be started from the base of the bush.
3. Objective of Pruning should be increasing the light and air circulation.
4. Cuts should be made at an angle of 45 degrees facing the middle of the plant and it should be at least 1/4th of an inch above the growing bud.
5. Cut should be sleek and should not have resistance.
6. Cut any dead wood present, check it by scratching the upper black layer if you don’t see any green inside then cut it.
7. Remove all whippy branches which cannot sustain growth over them. (Branches having girth less than that of a pencil)
8. Seal the cut with normal carpenter’s glue which is white in color if pest problems exist in your area.
9. Remove all green leaves which are left on the plant after the fall season if they exist.
10. Remove all dead leaves from the bottom as it can be source of bug larvae and diseases.
So prune on and watch your Rose plants grow back in Glory!
Written by Piyush Batra for GreenMyLife