As a new rose gardener, what in the world is pruning? You have heard so much about it especially this month and it just sounds so complicated! Have no fear, it's a lot easier than you realize. With the right resources and explantions, you will grasp a clear concept and know exactly what to do. And most importantly, it's so hard to kill the roses even if you do it wrong.
In an easy to understand term, pruning refers to cutting or trimming of your rose bush. As roses continue to grow during the year, some of them are messy. Just like us, we grow hair and need a haircut. With roses, some of them have neat growing habit. Some throw canes in all directions. Some are crazy tall, some are leggy, some are all over the place (octopus canes as some ppl call).
So we'll have to help them out here.
February is a recommended pruning time for roses in our zone. According to TAMU, between the third week of February and-the first week of March is an ideal time to do a heavy prune. Annual heavy pruning is important to help rose produce more blooms and maintain a good shape to promote air circulation and health. This document from TAMU covers great detials on the method and much more. Please be sure to check it out here.
I am not an expert so I'm sharing this based on my experience (follow at your own risk).
One of the questions I had was - what to do with a band or baby rose that you just bought last year or recently? They are so small and look like sticks!! So here's my take.
If your rose is a band rose (or baby rose) like this photo below. I'll only trim lightly if only
there's a die back/black cane/dead cane and defoliate. Then allow it to grow then prune next year. There is not much to work with here anyway. Let them grow and get bigger.
If your rose is more matured, let say it's a grafted rose from a nursery with big/thick canes or over a year old, I'll prune and defoliate all leaves. It also depends on how tall those canes are. If the canes are already short, you won't need to do much and just cut crossed canes.
I will definitely prune roses that are over 1 year old.
Before you go out and start a pruning party, be sure to find a good pair of gloves that will cover up to your elbows. Dealing with rose throns are no fun and they can cause really serious injuries that you can't imagine. I've seen posts in different groups from time to time of people getting seriously infected from rose thorns. Always be on a safe side.
These videos have helped me so much in understanding how to prune both shrub and climbing roses. After watching a few, you will get a clear picture on what to do.
PRUNING SHRUB ROSES
PRUNING CLIMBING ROSES
I hope these info and videos are helpful for you and you become more confident on how to prune your roses this month.
Have fun pruning!
Tat the Crazy Rose Lady