Category: Pruning Roses Questions and Answers
Tags: Fall, Prune, Roses, should, Spring, Washington
3 Responses to “When should I prune my roses in SW Washington- Spring or Fall?”
around Valentines day is about right
My day is off limits!….. The best way to prune roses in the northwest is to prune them twice before next spring. When the leaves drop off after the first couple of frosts (which may be now), you should cut the canes down to about half their original length. The reason for this is so that when you get a cold or windy storm blowing through, as you know always happens in the SW portion of the Evergreen State, the canes will not be snapped off and damaged. By cutting them half way, you will keep the wind from breaking them off because they were too tall and flimsy. Also, by leaving enough of the canes behind, and if there happens to be a hard freeze and some of the tips of the canes die back, you will have plenty left to bud out in the spring. The second and final pruning should be done in late Feb. to early Mar. just before the new leaf buds open up. This last cut should bring the canes down to about 1 1/2 ft. from the ground. The second cut should be done only after the threat of frost is over for the year. Hope this answers your question…
Prune the canes to about two feet in the fall to prevent wind damage. Just cut them all to about the same height.
In spring, when the first new growth appears (this is usually about the time that forsythia blooms, so watch for it), prune to within the last 3-4 buds on a cane, making the cut right above a bud that faces in the direction that you want the branch to grow, usually an out-facing bud. Be sure to use clean shears/pruners, and make sure that you’re pruning a grafted branch. Spring is also the time to prune any diseased or dead wood, or any suckers that may sprout below the graft. Hope this helps…
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