Why Prune Roses?
Roses will continue to grow even over the winter months as we don’t have very cold weather in North Texas, However, after a long winter, roses will need pruning to eliminate overrun, dead and diseased canes. A heavy bi-annual pruning is vital to enable lush blooms and a vigorous plant. Pruning eliminates dead, diseased or frail canes and canes that grow across each other at the center of the rose plant and stop proper ventilation. Pruning also spreads the overall attractiveness and health of the rose bush and arouses growth that will yield abundant blooms of roses.
When to Prune Roses in North Texas
Your roses should receive a heavy pruning two times a year: spring and fall. Spring rose pruning in North Texas usually occurs during the third week of February to the first week of March. It’s ok to prune roses year round too. Remember: Each time you remove old blooms and cut off twiggy growth, you are encouraging new cane growth.
How to Prune Roses in the Spring
VCM says you will need:
- Protective gardening gloves (heavy leather gloves work best to protect against sharp thorns)
- Clean, sharp pruning shears that make a clean cut. Dull shears will cause wood to splinter
- Long handled loppers for trimming larger branches
- Long bladed hedge clippers for shaping and dead-heading antique climbers and ramblers
- Use a mixture of one part Clorox or alcohol to ten parts water to sterilize shears between each cut. This helps reduce the chances of insects or disease entering the wound.
- Garden rake to remove parings from under healthy plants.
And VCM adds,
The first step in spring pruning of roses like Hybrid Teas, Grandifloras, Floribundas and Climbing Roses is to remove dead, old and non-productive canes. These canes are usually gray and scaly. Also remove sucker growth (growing out of the rootstock) as close as possible to main root to encourage basal breaks (new shoots at the base of the plant).
Pruning cuts should be slanted toward the outside of the plant, just above a bud that is beginning to swell before it blooms. If you are pruning grafted plants you need to remove any suckers that grow out of the original stock below the graft.
Shape the plant by pruning each cane back to a dormant bud. Buds that have already started growing will not produce as many blooms. Dormant buds will start new growth after pruning and will produce abundant and lush blooms.
Be sure to remove any cuttings, leaves and dead blooms, and debris from beds around the bush after pruning is completed. Cover rose beds with thick layer of organic mulch each spring.