Temecula Valley Rose Society
Rose Care Corner, June 2006By Frank Brines, ARS Consulting Rosarian
Now that the TVRS May Rose Show is past, we can all look forward to the next bloom cycle in 6 to 8 weeks. But that will require dead heading or pruning away spent blossoms. It's true that cutting roses for a rose show, to take into the house, or to give to friends is a form of pruning, but that is not enough to ensure a fine new cycle of blooms.
To be most effective, remove the blossom's cane at a point where the cane is strong enough to support new growth. Each rose variety is different. Some have small stems that are strong enough to support their blossoms, such as Dainty Bess and Playboy. Others such as Elizabeth Taylor and Veteran's Honor require a thicker cutting point to support their large flowers.
Some rosarians suggest always making the cut at the first five-leaflet leaf facing outward. Keep in mind that the new cane will not be any thicker than where you make the cut; that is, if the cut exposes a small diameter, the new cane will be even smaller.
As you work on each rose plant, be sure to clean out twiggy growth and terminal growth in the middle of the plant. This aids air circulation, thus helping to prevent some fungal diseases and spider mites, and makes it easier to apply sprays throughout the shrub.
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