Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What do you do with rose bushes before winter?

I have a climbing rose bush, a regular rose bush, and two rose bushes that bloom like flowers, not roses. Should I cut them down all the way, or leave them as they are?

What do you do with rose bushes before winter?
I'm with Heartbeat and Sciway...

Don't cut them now... Don't. I've answered this question a few times... and I always recommend spring. Early spring. I'm in USDA hardiness zone 5, I use a local visual seasonal signal to decide when to prune. When the Forsythia bloom here, it tells me that the weather has turned toward Spring. Yes, there are freak storms, but in general nature knows best. That's when I cut. Don't cut your climber, except to even out the growth and remove dead wood. Climbers (generally) bloom off of older wood.

Good luck
Reply:you do not prune them or cut them until very early spring. If they are newly planted then you want to mulch them up for the winter and then in the spring when the leaves are just starting to show you can cut them back or just prune them up.
Reply:It is good to prune down rose bushes a bit so you can winter protect the graft (the bulky thing just above the ground) with as much mulch as possible, except, the climbing rose bush, let it climb a high as you like, but shape a bit the side branches. Pruning roses is important for the health of the bush and for the quality of the blooms, so its worth spending time to learn and to do it right. Good luck.
Reply:Do Not Prune untill after winter.

go to:

This article will explain how to prepare your roses for winter.

In general you won't prune untill new growth starts in the spring. The old growth (last years) will actually help protect the lower part of the plant from frost or extreme cold.

Hope this helps
Reply:Not knowing where you are from makes this difficult to answer. I would contact your local garden center. Armstrong Garden Centers are usually a good information resource and frequently have classes available. Or even better contact your local ARS, American Rose Society at They have a very good website and frequently offer classes also. Happy gardening!
Reply:prune them.

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