“Wake up and smell the roses!” Or what I should I should say is, “Wake up and PRUNE the roses!”
If you haven’t pruned your roses yet, you may want to think about giving them a haircut in the next few days. There are two times per year when you should prune your roses. You might think to yourself, “How will I ever remember when I am supposed to do that??!”
Well, what you probably didn’t know is that the calendar you have hanging in your kitchen or office already has reminders written inside for you! It should say, “Valentine’s Day” and “Labor Day.” These two holidays are your target dates for pruning your roses.
When you are reading this, I know Valentine’s Day will have already passed, but I’ll let it slide this time – get out there and prune those roses!
If you have a shrub rose, like a knockout or a drift rose, you can prune those like any other evergreen shrub. Prune them to the desired shape; with these types of roses it is not required to prune them as meticulously as a hybrid tea rose. When pruning a hybrid tea roses at this time of year, you will want to prune them about twelve inches from the ground. It might seem like a pretty hard prune, but that is what they need at this time of the year. Also remove any dead or damaged sticks, and anything that is smaller than the size of a standard No. 2 pencil – ideally leaving 4 to 6 main stems. And lastly, when pruning climbing roses, prune them according to the desired shape, guiding them to grow on whatever type of lattice or trellis you have. Prune as much or as little as you want with a pair of hand pruners.
It is always a good idea to fertilize your plants at the same time as pruning, to encourage new growth. So after you have pruned your roses, apply a rose specific, granular fertilizer around the base of each plant; be sure to water in the fertilizer. After you’ve done that, you can sit back, relax, and watch your roses flourish! And if you don’t have any roses in your garden right now, consider planting some - come check out our newest shipments of roses that just arrived this week!