The rose is America’s favorite flower. The great color range, long bloom season and wonderful fragrance have endeared more than one suitor to his dearly beloved. Now is the time to trim those rose bushes to ensure the bloom for next spring. Most roses bloom on new wood (except some climbers). By cutting back last year’s growth, we encourage more new growth that allows more flowers for the coming year.
The first thing to remember when trimming roses is to remove any dead or diseased canes. These will not produce the vigorous growth necessary to make great flowers.
Next, remove the center canes to allow more light and air to the remaining growth.
Now, select 3 to 7 stems that are well placed in a basket shape. If you have a choice of a young vigorous cane or an old woody one, always select the new one. This will keep your bush strong with great flowers for years to come.
The last thing to do is to shorten the remaining canes to 12″ or 30″ long. The shorter cut will yield fewer, but larger blooms. The longer cut will give you a plant that is taller with more but smaller flowers. The thing to remember is that the roses do not read the books. As long as you do not cut the plant to the ground, it will survive and give you lots of flowers for the coming year.