In Santa Barbara rose pruning season is generally between Christmas and Superbowl. Roses are a deciduous shrub. In our mild climate, we don’t often receive the cold required for real winter dormancy, so it’s especially important to clean them up for a good healthy start in the New Year. Pruning actually breaks dormancy.
We prune roses for health, shape, growth control, and to encourage new canes.
· Remove any dead, diseased or damaged wood.
· Check for sucker growth. Suckers are canes from below the bud union.
· Leave 3, 5 or more, young strong canes. Remove week spindly canes . Remove old gray ones. Best blooms come from new growth. Remove crossing canes, and canes that rub against each other.
· Cut back desired canes into an open vase shape. All pruning cuts should be made ¼ inch above and angled away from an outward facing bud.
· Light pruning is removal of about 1/3 of the height. Hard pruning is about ½. Your pruned rose will probably be 2 to 4 feet tall.
· Saw off any dead wood at the base of the rose if necessary.
· Lightly brush old peeling bark on crown with a brush to stimulate new canes,
· Remove all foliage. Clean up all debris. Apply dormant spray to plant and soil.
· Fertilize in March after foliage grows.
Hybrid Teas: 3-5+ canes in a vase shape open in the center
Floribundas: 5-7 canes in a vase shape open in the center. Sometimes not pruned as hard as hybrid teas.
Shrub and groundcover: Usually have more “twiggy” growth habits.
Prune the same as a floribunda, leaving more lateral branches.
Climbers: need little pruning for the first few years. Prune to shape.
Leave laterals 2-3 , as this is where climbers bloom. Yes, you do need to strip all the leaves.
Don’t worry. Our roses will recover from any mistakes we may make.