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Pruning Roses In Winter

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Question: Pruning Roses In Winter
Can I prune my roses during a warm spell in the winter? I live in zone 5.
Answer:

Probably not. This reader mentions Zone 5, or what is considered a northern garden zone, with a definite winter climate. Even if there are a few days of deceptively warm temperatures, it is not the time to prune any roses. The exception to this rule is for southern gardeners. If they are pruning on a day where the temperatures do not fall below freezing, they may be able to prune. It is still not advisable, however.

The best time for pruning all types of roses, is in the early spring, just as the buds are beginning to swell, but the sap is not flowing enough to lose much from the ends that have been freshly cut. This will minimize the shock to the plant and is the safest.

Other things to consider when pruning roses are:
  • 1.The variety of rose- This will tell the amount of pruning that the plant can handle.
  • 2.Don't scalp the plant- Remember that when you are cutting your roses to harvest the blooms, this is considered summer pruning. Be careful to not cut too much, or the plant will not retain the energy necessary to thrive.
  • 3.Clean up the area-Always remove any rose clippings from the growing area. These are the perfect breeding place for disease and damaging insects if left nearby. If you are pruning obvious diseased or insect damaged roses, do not compost these parts. Your compost pile may not be getting hot enough to kill the disease or insect eggs.
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