I decide to prune my roses today (light prune) meaning taking of any cross branches, dead branches , overgrowth, too much tall growth since the rose garden was getting out of control.
I was going to do a more hard prune in April – May.
I read on your website that you shouldn’t prune till April/May so I got a little worried.
My fellow gardener friend told me she prunes her roses every fall and her blooms turn out wonderful.
So if you provide a little insight on this that would be great :)
Thank you for your question. Not to worry, your reasons for pruning now are OK.
Generally, 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.
However, when it is time to put the garden to bed in the fall, some pruning may be required to protect the plant over the winter.
Cut back hybrid tea, floribunda and grandiflora roses to about 18″ to avoid wind damage and possible upheaval of roots in strong winds. After the ground has frozen, hill up the soil to cover the crown where the graft is located. Use friable soil left over from an annual basket or retained in a warm place (e.g. garage). Do not use manure or compost. Once the soil is frozen cover with more soil, damp sawdust, leaves or hay. Chicken wire or plastic collars can be used to hold the mulch in place and provide further insulation. Cut up conifer branches, laid around the crowns of roses, will also act as an insulator by holding the snow in place and minimize the possibility of rodent nesting in the mounds.
All shrub roses including David Austin roses can be cut back to about 2 or 3 feet. For climbing roses, secure or remove branches to avoid possible wind damage. Most miniature roses are hardy, but consider hilling up with soil.
You can find more information about pruning roses and putting the garden to bed in our Gardening Guides as follows: