Rose Cuttings – October, 2007

Winter brings dormancy to many of our plants in Texas. Roses are no exception. Freezing weather brings a halt to bloom and can often cause the plants to defoliate. For roses, this only lasts four to six weeks, giving the gardener time to shape, prune and train roses to encourage their best performance in the spring. Traditionally, we promote the end of this period, which is in early February, as the perfect time to prune and shape shrub roses. Climbers can be pruned and trained any time while dormant.

Climbing roses should also be thinned. Older canes can be removed, leaving younger, more vigorous canes to be trained on the structure they are to adorn. Remember, don’t leave any unruly or ill-placed canes or branches. They will make the structure look unkempt and chaotic. Structures often used to support roses are arbors, pergolas, fences and pillars. They are beautiful architectural focal points in a garden and should have roses to embellish them in a tidy fashion.

Shrubs can easily and quickly be shaped to conform to the overall scale and size of the garden. Many roses left unpruned often dwarf surrounding plants and destroy the scale of the garden. They also don’t bloom as much. Roses pruned and shaped properly will always reward the gardener with an abundance of spring bloom on plants that adhere to the garden’s original design. Remember, you have to harness the rose, don’t let it harness you!

About the author: Mike Shoup is the owner of the Antique Rose Emporium. Visit the ARE Brenham and San Antonio display gardens for endless ideas on landscaping with roses, and to order roses online, visit their Web site:

Posted by Neil Sperry
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