Rose Pruning

Loren's Field Notes

How do I prune my rose bushes, you ask? You'll need a good clean pair of pruning shears and a small sharp hand saw.

First, remove all dead and non-productive canes. Next cut all the canes to 18 to 24 inches in height. When you're done you should have 4-6 remaining canes which are arranged in the general shape of a vase.

This will leave the center open for good exposure to sunlight and air circulation. Try to cut just above outward facing buds. This keeps the growth directed toward the outside of the bush. Make your cuts on an angle to prevent moisture accumulation.

To feed your roses, try this 60-day food. First you'll need the following items, which are available at any good garden center. Stores like Home Depot and Target generally do not carry organic components.

  • 1 part fish meal
  • 1 part chicken manure
  • 1 part cotton seed meal
  • 2 parts bone meal
  • 1 part kelp meal

Feed at a rate of 1 cup per plant every 60 days. Also consider a side dressing of sulpo mag a couple times a year. Your roses will look great.

In early spring I'll pass along a great way to keep rust and mildew off your roses.

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