An Early Spring Guide to Your Rose Garden

Pruning roses in the early spring is essential to ensure full, renewed growth as the season progresses. Roses need to be pruned regularly, and now is a great time to start because you’ll remove the dead leaves and stems, as well as any potentially damaged or disease ridden parts of the plant from the cold winter months.

Ultimately, the goal is to encourage the plant to produce a lot of rose buds — so you need to make sure it has the space to do so. But don’t be intimidated by this process! Here are a few tips to help you see the bloom your yard deserves.

Have the right tools

A rose thorn to the thumb is not a pleasant experience, as anyone who has felt that pain can attest. So the first tool to make sure you have are a good quality pair of puncture proof gloves.

You’ll need quality pruning shears with curved blades, a pruning saw and lopping shears with a long handle. Each of these will serve a specific purpose. Because different types of roses may need special care, do your research or consult a pro.

Quick Pruning Summary

Before you get started, you’ll want to take a look at each stem. Remove all dead or weak stems, leaving only healthy stems that are more likely to thrive and bloom.

Using your shears, prune at a 45 degree angle about ¼ inch above a leaf or bud growth. As you go, take a moment to examine each stem. The center of the stem you’ve cut should be white. If it’s brown, dry or withered, cut down a little further. Thin out the branches with the pruning saw or lopping shears as needed. If there are any crossed stems, remove one so there is plenty of room to grow.

Don’t forget to wipe your tools before storing them in a shed or closet to keep them dry and out of the rain to prevent rust.

5 Mistakes To Avoid

  1. The biggest mistake many people make is when to prune. You need to wait until after the last frost to take your shears to your roses.
  2. Another common error people make is cutting the plant too short. Keep your plant at least half of the original height.
  3. Cutting at the wrong angle could lead to rot from water gathering on the ends of the stem, which would lead to a dead and damaged branch sooner than later
  4. Fertilizing immediately after pruning can cause stress to the plant and defoliate it. You should wait at least three weeks after pruning before feeding it.
  5. If you leave the small, skinny stems, they probably won’t grow. Remove anything skinnier than a pencil, and leave the rest to bloom.

Still Need Help?

If you’re in a little over your head with the number of rose bushes you have to prune, it’s ok to just hire the right help. If you’re not afraid to admit that you’d really rather be spending your time performing various other household chores, call the landscape experts here at Hart and Sons Landscape. We have years of experience bringing roses to bloom and we’d love to help you, too.

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