When To Trim Overgrown Rose Bushes

Trim Overgrown

Q: I didn’t realize until six months ago that I am supposed to trim back roses every year. Now mine are really overgrown. The bush is six feet high and the branches are spindly. What should I do? 

A: Wait until the normal pruning time around Valentine’s Day then remove dead branches and those that cross through the middle. There will be four to ten upward-growing branches from the base of your rose. Remove the oldest ones, leaving four to six to grow. Decide how high up you want flowers in summer and make most of your cuts sixteen inches below that height. I like my flowers to be about three feet from the ground so I prune my shrub roses twenty inches high every time. Make each cut a quarter-inch above a bud that is pointing outward from the center of the rose. I have full details at bit.ly/GAroseprune.

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