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Rose Pruning with Dave

Dave is here to show you how to properly prune your roses.


Do you have any questions? Let us know!


Dave will do another video this week answering all of your rose pruning questions.

Dave’s Recipe for Year-Round Rose Care

Follow these generalized guidelines to ensure the maximum health and flowers on your roses throughout the year.


January - Early February

This is the time for transplanting and heavy pruning. If you want to move established plants, you can prune them back to 12-24" tall. You will want to choose 3-5 of the younger, stronger canes to keep and remove the others, then replant as you would with any other new bare-root rose. Remove any dead and old, woody canes while pruning. Also, be sure to remove any branches that may be crossing one another. Cut the young and vigorous canes to your desired height between 18-30". Any large cuts should be coated with a sealant such as Doc Farwells Seal and Heal. Strip off old leaves from the previous year and clean up any leaves around the plants. Spray roses with Liqui-Cop and Horticultural Oil for early-season disease and insect protection. The price, quality, and selection of roses in January make it the best time to purchase new plants.


Mid - Late February

Now is the time to fertilize each bush or tree with:

• 1/2 cup of Master Nursery Rose & Flower Food -OR- 1/2 cup of Dr. Earth Rose & Flower Food

• 1/4 cup Epsom Salt

• 1 to 2 cups Alfalfa Meal

The Epsom salts and alfalfa meal increase the overall vigor and aid in the new cane production of your plants. As an optional step, you can mulch your plants with worm castings around 1/2-1" thick. This has proved to be beneficial for the control of sucking insects (aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, etc.) as well as some diseases - Especially if your rose is in a pot. Worm castings also increase the availability of nutrients to your plants.


Early - Mid April

This is a great time for the first application of a systemic insecticide with a fertilizer such as Bayer All-In-One Rose and Flower Care. This will control aphids, thrips, and other sucking insects while also feeding your roses for a sustained bloom. Every April, just as the first flowers are emerging there is typically an infestation of Rose Chafer Beetles. These beetles destroy many of the first and best of your light-colored roses. There is no simple solution here. Cut as many of the flowers as possible to enjoy in your home. We have found that spraying the buds and flowers with a product containing permethrin such as Bonide Eight can provide some protection. There has also been some success reported from using Beneficial Nematodes in the soil to kill eggs and larval forms of these beetles thereby reducing their population and damage.

Many people prefer not to use any form of pesticide in their yards. Ladybugs, lacewings, and praying mantids are all voracious insect predators that will often eat the aphids in your and your neighbor's yard. These predators help suppress the aphid population and can be purchased around this time.

Should spring temperatures be cool, mildew and blackspot disease can be a serious problem. This can be treated as needed with Sulfur, Bayer Disease Control, or a biological fungicide called Serenade.


Summer | July - August

Fertilize every 6 weeks with Master Nursery Rose & Flower Food or Dr. Earth Rose & Flower Food. Additional feedings may be done at any time with a water-soluble food or Master Nursery Fish Emulsion to give your plants a boost. This is a good time for a second helping of Epsom salts and alfalfa meal as well. Use Epsom and alfalfa at half the rate from spring.

When deadheading spent flowers it is best to cut back to just above a five-leaf that faces outward for long stems. To get the most flowers cut the stem back as little as possible, however, the stems will often be too short for cutting.


September - October

Aphids may return at this time of the year which

makes it a good time to fertilize again with a systemic

insecticide. With the cooler weather and shorter days

comes some of the best fall flowers. Normal bloom

cycles will soon end so this should be the last feeding

time of the year.


November - December

At this point, you will want to let your roses rest, and you can too.


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