When should i cut down my rose plants? | The Garden Rose : The Garden Rose

When should i cut down my rose plants?

I live in San Francisco, CA and I read somewhere that rose plants should be cut down once a year. My question is when? How much should I cut too? Thank you.


6 Responses to “When should i cut down my rose plants?”

  1. GTB on April 19th, 2010 7:43 pm

    I live near Chicago. We wait until after the first hard killer frost. We then cut them down to under 8 inches, put mulch around the base and let them sit until spring.

    I do not know if you get a killer frost in San Francisco so it may be better to contact people in that area.

  2. meanolmaw on April 19th, 2010 8:30 pm

    read here….


    most of us wait until spring to see what has lived thru winter… then we cut off the dead stuff and bring the plant back to three or four main canes and a foot and a half tall or so… climbing roses get their own kind of pruning…..different from bush roses!!!….

    pruning encourages new growth and you don’t want to do any pruning in fall, as the new stuff won’t be able to harden off before cold weather gets here…

  3. sptfyr on April 19th, 2010 8:57 pm

    There are two reasons to prune.
    Here you go:

    General Pruning: You do this to remove any dead or dying canes or spent flowers.
    It is true that you need to pick a set of five leaves, but not necessarily the first set. Pick a set of five that are pointing outward because that will be the direction of a new cane and flowers. If you choose one pointing inward then your canes can cross and will cause other problems. Cut the cane at an angle like this (/) about 1/4″ above the five leaf set. It is okay to do this with each cane and especially if the cane is dying. It is also okay to do this throughout the growing season because it promotes new growth.

    Only use general pruning on climbers to remove dead or dying canes. You can prune canes back for the purpose of training, but you may not get roses the following season.

    Autumn Pruning: Any time between the first freeze of Autumn and the last freeze of winter you can seriously prune your rose down to about 2 feet. This will create a fuller, lusher plant for the new season. Once again you will want to cut at an angle. However, instead of cutting above a five leaf set, this time you will want to cut right above a node which will resemble a small, reddish, slightly pointed bump on the cane. Like the five leaf set, make sure the node is pointing outward.

    Does it ever freeze in San Fran? Anyhow, if it does not then do the Autumn pruning during you coldest months.

    Good luck

  4. Kevin C on April 19th, 2010 9:47 pm

    Read somewhere that you should cut down your rose bushes once a year? I think that person was a great big liar, writing fibs.

    In my opinion, you shouldn’t cut back your rose bush to stubs every year. In your area, you really needn’t worry about canes freezing. In the spring, before new growth begins, you should selectively prune your rose. First cut out any dead, damaged or diseased canes. After that, remove canes that are crossed. Finally, remove any wimpy canes. All the canes that remain should be at least the thickness of your pinky finger or a pencil. Thicker canes produce the largest/ most flowers. After all of that, neaten it up, prune it back for a desired shape/size. Apply ELMER’S glue to the cuts, that will help prevent borers from getting in.

    Different roses require different pruning practices, what I described above would work for most modern hybrid teas, grandifloras and floribunda roses. Shrub roses you can leave more wood, climbers are their own case entirely.

    You’ll probably have to talk to someone at your local independent garden center for specific advice on when to do your pruning, but it’s best right as the new buds are an inch long or so.

    Good luck-
    I hope that this helps

  5. tabbieh on April 19th, 2010 10:10 pm

    I happen to know this answer. No matter where you live..the time to prune roses is May 15th..TAX DAY!! Always the same day every year. Only remove the dead wood on the canes.

    Good luck and enjoy your roses!!

  6. Max Burton on April 19th, 2010 10:56 pm

    Roses do not need to be pruned unless you are removing dead wood or trying to control the size. Just let those roses do their thing.

    For more information, you can Skype katjawahrhaftig.

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