Pruning Roses for Winter

The time is here!

It’s time for your Winter rose pruning.

Today’s garden roses have evolved to require a period of winter dormancy. Most areas of San Diego County do not receive enough hours of cold to force roses into complete dormancy. Allow roses to set hips in the fall; this will send a signal to the plant that the season is over and slow its growth rate. In January and February, prune the bushes and strip off any remaining foliage to encourage them to take a short winter nap.

This pruning allows gardeners to take a look at how their roses have grown over the season and make judicious cuts to help shape and direct new growth so that the bushes fit into our gardens and produce healthier plants.

1. Generally prune hard, but no more than one-third to one-half of growth.

2. Remove all dead and diseased growth.

3. Prune to outward-facing bud eyes, and remove any canes that cross through the center of the plant or rub against other canes.

4. Clean up debris from the garden.

5. Hold off fertilizing roses until new growth is around 3 inches long. This usually occurs mid- to late March.

John Bagnasco of and Save The Roses auction chairperson

Categories: Garden Guide, Gardening