Finally, our roses here at The Gardens at Heather Farm have reached a dormant, or at least semi-dormant state. That means our extensive rose collection is due for its yearly pruning. Our collection is comprised of roughly 1000 floribunda, hybrid tea, rugosa, David Austen, and many other species and varieties. As you might imagine, with numbers like these, we have our work cut out for us! Fortunately, we have an excellent team of experienced volunteers to make light work of this otherwise daunting task.
For many (if not most) rose gardeners, however, a team of skilled rose pruners is not going to show up to assist! It is after this realization that many gardener’s begin to panic. DO NOT PANIC. Rose pruning is not difficult at all. The principles are basic and the results of proper pruning will be apparent through the entire growing season.
Before you begin your yearly pruning, it is imperative to have the proper equipment on hand. I recommend the following items:
-Bypass pruning shears
-Hand pruning saw
-Thick, long-sleeved clothing
With this simple list, you will be able to make quick work of your rose garden while avoiding gratuitous damage to your skin! It is then time to begin the pruning itself. January is the best time to prune your roses, but if you end up waiting a bit (til perhaps February), you will still be fine.
Now, how is it done? The answer to this question is lengthy and is perhaps best answered by watching this short instructional video.
If you’d like to practice on someone elses roses, you should feel free to join us in the garden on Wednesday mornings at 9am for the next couple of weeks to try out your new found skills on our roses and get some tips from our veteran rosarians. Rose pruning is simple and rewarding. Here’s to a growing season filled with fantastic blooms for you to enjoy!