Monday, May 17, 2010

How/when should I cut back a 10-yr old climbing rose that has never been cut back?

This is a miniature rose (if it makes a difference) and has been growing on our fence for about 10 years. It hasn't ever been really cut back, just very very barely trimmed; it is very thorny and just haven't really wanted to deal with it. I don't want to kill it but it is really out of control now, very thick in places and it just doesn't look as good and healthy as it used to. My idea is to cut it completely down and off the fence and let it start all over again. I live in Tallahassee FL so I thought if I do it now it can get new growth and toughen up for the winter. Any thoughts?

How/when should I cut back a 10-yr old climbing rose that has never been cut back?
"Roses need different types and timing of pruning depending on their variety. Repeat blooming roses such as floribunda and hybrid tea roses need a heavy annual pruning that is done in the spring, just as the buds break dormancy. This could be mid-to late February near the coast to mid-April in the mountains. The best way to judge when to prune is to look at the buds; when they begin to swell, go ahead and prune.

Old-fashioned roses and climbers that bloom only once a year should be pruned immediately after flowering. Do not prune these types of roses heavily in the early spring since they bloom on wood from the previous year’s growth.

Dead, diseased or damaged wood on any rose should be removed as soon as it is seen."

You can cut your climbing rose off the fence now. Leave enough growth on so it can take in nutrients. Don't cut it completely down to the ground but leave about 2-3 ft of growth. Get rid of the oldest brown canes %26amp; keep %26amp; trim the newest, greenest canes. Get rid of cris-crossing canes, %26amp; keep the middle of the plant open ( for better air circulation). Make cuts at an angle so it doesn't stay wet %26amp; rot. Water the bush early in the day. You can dab a little white Elmer's glue on the end of each pruned cane to help prevent cane borer damage.

Good luck! Hope this helps.
Reply:Hi. I have a masters in horticulture and am a graduate of Auburn University in Auburn, AL. To prune roses, when trimming each limb make a Y shape with the limbs. Where they branch out at, they should have grown out in a Y formed shape. cut it down right above the last thorn on that limb at a katty corned shape. do this to each one. it will be little time consuming but it is the proper way to prune them.
Reply:you really do not need to trim it i would say just thin it out and fertilizer with some thing called rose glow or a good organic rose or flower food
Reply:What are you on crack?! A few others on here must be also
Reply:Prune roses in late January to mid February, before new growth begins. They need to be in a dormant stage.

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