Some people find pruning their rose gardens to be a daunting chore. If you have roses, they will need to be pruned, but there is no reason to shy away from this task. Pruning your roses can be a simple enough task, once you know what to do and how to do it. If you have a Houston, Texas rose garden that is in need of pruning, just follow these steps below.
Why and when. You prune roses to take out any old and diseased wood, and to encourage new shoots that will give you better blooms. You also want to keep your roses in good shape and let in light and air. Prune when the rose is dormant – in Houston, Texas this means sometime in late November. If you wait any longer you run the risk of that (occasional) Houston frost occurring and harming your newly pruned roses.
Equipment. You’ll need gloves to protect your hands from the thorns in your Houston, Texas rose garden. (Leather, not those pretty cloth gardening gloves.) You’ll also need a sharp pair of pruning shears. If you think you might need something a little stronger, purchase a small pruning saw. Loppers are also required.
Prune. Look on your rose’s stem for a line where the leaves join and then look for a little knob above these lines. This is a bud. Now use your pruning shears to make a slanted cut, just above the bud. Remove any shoots that are old, dead or scraggly looking, as well as those that are crowding each other in your Houston, Texas rose garden. Remember that light and air needs to get to the center of your rose bush for the best blooms.
Special Pruning Notes. There are a few types of roses that need special care when pruning.
Climbing Roses. If you have climbing roses in your Houston, Texas garden, just neaten them up a little. Cut out dead wood and any canes that are growing in an odd direction. A climbing rose blooms on old wood, not new, so if you remove the old wood you won’t get any flowers. Old Garden Roses should also just be neatened, not pruned, especially during their first three years. Just remove dead wood and shape them a little.
Miniature roses. Don’t prune your Houston, Texas miniature roses until February. Cut miniature roses back to half their height, no less. Open up the center, as above, to increase light and air circulation. Then leave them alone.
Hybrid Teas and Floribundas. These Houston, Texas roses should also not pruned until February. Remove dead wood and canes that are rubbing against each other. Open up the center of the bush to allow for light and air circulation, but that’s about it. You don’t want to over-prune these types of roses.
After pruning. Fertilize your roses and mulch (at least three to four inches) your rose bed. Use a special rose fertilizer,
such as Miracle Gro Rose Fertilizer, and then water thoroughly.
And that’s it!
Guide to Pruning Roses, LeGrice, Bill