Roses are an inspiration to many beautiful things but proper pruning is what gets them there. In most cases roses need annual pruning to keep them healthy, flowering, shaped and on the right track. That's why it's important to look for signs on the stems and shoots. Here are a few things to look for when you're out admiring your blooming beauties:
- Cut away stems that are too close to the ground, are rubbing together or overcrowded. Also get rid of any stems that are weak or spindly. Cut back any that are diseased or winterized, until you see healthy, white pith.
- Pruning the most common hybrid tea roses or Floribundas begins early in the season. As each rose stem grows, flowers and then dies, prune it back to renew the growth for next year. New wood originates at the bottom of the bush and replaces old wood over time as you cut it away.
- Flowers of floribunda roses are born on new shoots and old stems. The older stems will have the buds that will flower first and the young shoots bear later flowers. Prune to preserve both old and new stems. It's good to cut back the older shoots to about a foot and sometimes removing those that are very old altogether. Prune the young shoots only about a 1/3. Cut back remaining branches to about 6-inches.
- Hybrid tea roses produce long-stemmed, large blossoms throughout the growing season. If you prune it drastically, you'll find fewer flowers, later blossoms and a smaller plant. Shorten thick stems to 12-inches or more. Once in a while cut away a stem at its base to stimulate new growth.
- Throughout summertime check your bush to remove flowers. If you would like cut flowers in the house, cut them just as the petals begin to open up. Otherwise, cut them right after they fade. This will channel the energy to the flowers that are still growing.