January 3, 2009

D’s Blog

Rose Pruning

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.

General guidelines:

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.


By Deo @ La Sumida Uncategorized Share:
Business Hours

Summer Hours
Monday – Saturday
8:00am – 5:00pm

Closed Sundays.