The optimal time to prune roses is in the winter, or dormant season. In Southern California, this is generally in January. While your roses may still be budded, leafy or blooming, pruning must be completed to provide the flowers with a healthy beginning in the upcoming season. Stimulate new growth in your garden with these rose pruning tips.
Before pruning can take place, you must decide on the height and shape of the plant. The traditional vase/urn shape provides maximum air circulation, but other styles can also be implemented. Remove any winter protection from the roses and begin to prune out any dead canes, which generally appear as blackened, shriveled plant.
Next, remove any rootstocks, or suckers, which are new plants growing from the roots of the old plant, which can hinder the growth process. Choose four to six healthy canes to prune into the desired shape. Leave one to four feet of each cane to grow.
For more information on the proper way to prune roses in the winter, please contact Enhanced Landscape Management of Thousand Oaks, California.