This rose tree was planted in our west (front) garden in late July 2018. The tree has flourished, growing from just under 4 feet to over 6 feet. It has had about a 100 flowers since planting. In late September we experienced very heavy winds and rain resulting in the new growth bending over to the ground. They no longer stand tall on their own and consequently have been tied up..
Can I prune all these stems back to the original height now (October) or must I wait until spring.
Your assistance would be appreciated. Thanks Jane
Thank you for your question. It is best not to cut or prune your roses at this time of year as the cuts will not have sufficient time to callus over before winter. However, canes that are showing disease should be removed. Canes of taller or climbing roses can be loosely tied together using twine or fabric strips to prevent damage from winter winds.
Roses should be pruned in early spring at the end of the dormant season. In Toronto this is usually in April or May, just before new growth begins and as the buds begin to swell. Wait until the danger of a hard frost is past or newly pruned tips may be killed. Prune climbers and ramblers lightly after flowering.
Below please find information on general pruning principles, including specific details for your Floribunda Rose. More details can be found in our Gardening Guides: “Guide to Pruning Roses” on our Toronto Master Gardenener Website.
General Pruning Principles
As a general rule, if a plant is healthy and able to withstand hard pruning, the harder the shoots are pruned the more vigorously the new canes will grow. Light pruning promotes less vigorous and more limited new growth.
Use strong, sharp pruning shears to make a clean cut with no ragged edges. Cut no more than 1/4 inch above an outside-facing eye or growth bud. Angle the cut so that it slopes back slightly and away from the bud to allow moisture to drain away. These rules apply to all roses except those being trained to grow along a support and prostrate types.
When removing a complete stem, cut as close as possible to the parent stem, then trim the stump flush with the stem, using a sharp knife. Cut thick stems with loppers for a good, clean cut. For old hardwood use a narrow-bladed pruning saw.
When thinning out wood cut back to the next branch. This creates a more natural appearance. It also avoids numerous stubs, which give the plant a butchered look and invite disease.
Newly Planted Roses
Prune newly planted roses immediately, unless they are planted in the fall. If planted in fall wait until spring. This initial pruning should remove any dead, broken or weak wood and any stems that rub or cross. Beyond this, the initial pruning should be matched to the type of rose, as follows:
- Floribundas – prune five to six inches from the ground;