Pruning roses for winter is not a good idea because in most climates the winter months are simply too cold for pruning roses. Attempting to prune during the winter will likely stress the plant and it may take years to fix the damage. The time of year it is best to prune Knockout and other types of rose bushes will depend on whether blooms form on new growth or old growth. This article will also offer tips for preparing roses for winter, as well as general tips for pruning.
Depending on your specific rose plant, you will need to prune it either in the spring or in the fall. Commonly, roses such as Knockout and Hybrid Tea roses bloom on new wood and should be pruned in the spring. On the other hand, most climbers and ramblers bloom on older, established wood and should not be pruned until they have finished flowering in the late summer. By doing so, you will give the rose plants enough time to establish new growth prior to going dormant for the winter.
While you should be pruning roses for winter, there are steps you can take to help prepare your roses for winter. This is especially important if you live in a climate that has very cold, harsh winters that would make them prone to winter damage. In the fall, trim the canes back slightly and loosely wrap the bush with twine. This will help prevent winter winds from damaging delicate canes and possible wind rock. You may also want to apply a thick layer of mulch to the base of your rose bushes in the fall. As the mulch decomposes, it will produce heat and less the damaging effects of cold winter weather, and will also provide nutrients to the soil during the spring thaw.
When to time comes for pruning roses, be sure to use a tool with a sharp, clean blade to prevent cutting damage and prohibit the spread of diseases. For spring pruning after the threat of frost has passed, make your cuts just above a new bud. Remember to only prune plants that are well-established. Once the plant has had two or three years to establish itself, most will tolerate heavy pruning that reduces the plant to about 75% of its original size. During the summer when your rose garden is lush with beautiful, fragrant flowers, remember than cutting blooms to bring inside and enjoy, as well as dead-heading, is another type of pruning roses.
Proper care of your rose garden is crucial to healthy, well-maintained rose bushes and shrubs. Because most climates are too cold, pruning roses for winter is not recommended. Hopefully this short article gave you several tips for how to prune roses that you can use in the upcoming season.
Learn more about rose bush care and pruning roses at WildAboutRoses.net.