IS it too late to prune my HT roses?

Discussion in 'Rosa (roses)' started by drcarl, Apr 20, 2008.

  1. drcarl

    drcarl Active Member

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    It's April 20th here near Seattle at about 200 feet elevation and the forsythia has already done its blooming thing.

    We had some snow day before yesterday (a dusting) along with some hail and freezing temps.

    Is it too late for me to prune my few HT roses?

    I wonder how far back I should/can cut them...

    TIA

    dr carl
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    If you hard prune now it will interfere with the first wave of bloom. So, you have to choose between making the bushes smaller and keeping the entire first set of flowers.
     
  3. drcarl

    drcarl Active Member

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    Thanx Ron,

    Not sure how many blooms to expect through the season...2? 3? 4?

    Am more interested in the plant being healthy...only have about 5 plants...the Sheer Bliss rocks. The Peace has such pretty leaves. The Liebeszauber provides a nice red. We've even tricked the Blue Girl and Sterling Silver to pleasure us with blossoms...and all this with zero chemicals.

    So, which would you choose? Hard prune back to about 1/3 of what's there as well as take off anything smaller than a pencil and create airflow and all that, or leave 'em be?

    Thanx again,

    dr carl
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Healthy = watering, fertilizing, spraying and mulching. Except where spent or diseased parts are being snipped off and discarded, the pruning would be to control size. These don't look big enough to be a problem. Since the flowers are the main point, I would do nothing that interfered with the production of these.

    In a British study it was found there was more flower production with shearing them off flat and non-selectively, like a hedge than after the conventional selective pruning. So much for opening up the center etc. This was due to more of the stems being retained, the energy stored over winter in the stems being used to fuel the growth of new flowering shoots in spring. You would still prune selectively after flowering in summer, cutting back each spent flowering stem to a 5-leaflet leaf.
     
  5. drcarl

    drcarl Active Member

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    Awesome...

    I guess I'll leave them.

    The tallest is the Sheer Bliss in the whiskey barrel. That plant can really get tall! I did forget to include something in the shots for scale. Bliss (near the fence) is about 5-6' tall right now and that includes about a foot of soil.

    The one on the deck is at least a foot shorter than that...and the rest are much shorter.

    Thank you for your input and the interesting hedge-prune statistic.

    dr carl
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Study report might still be on Royal National Rose Society web site.
     
  7. drcarl

    drcarl Active Member

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    Thanx!
     
  8. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    Pruning hard will encourage fewer but thicker canes, fewer but larger flowers. Minimalist pruning likely will mean more blooms, but smaller in size. To most gardeners, the preference is for more blooms, and less concern about the size of the blooms. To the serious rose enthusiast who exhibits in rose shows, it's all about long, thick stems with single blooms of good size, substance and balance. I assume you are not looking at rose shows - so you would be right to not prune hard at this stage.

    However, there is pruning for size of the blooms, and there is pruning to maintain a healthy balanced bush. So, even if you elect not to prune the canes short you should nevertheless carry out the usual maintainance pruning - which can still be done at this time of the year (in fact, anytime of the year):

    1. Remove all dead and damaged material
    2. Remove all weak non-productive canes and laterals
    3. Remove all the older non-productive canes. How old it is before a cane becomes non-productive depends on the variety. If you are not sure, leave the canes alone and observe their bloom production in the coming season.
    4. Remove the weaker or less desirable of any two canes that cross each other and rub against each other
    5. Remove all the hips from previous year's flowering by shortening the laterals to the nearest good sized new lateral shoot.

    I hope that helps.
     
  9. drcarl

    drcarl Active Member

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    Woo! That helps a LOT ! Thanks!

    dr carl

    (here's a shot of one of my kinda tall, kinda large Sheer Bliss which I love so much.)
     

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  10. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    That's a really nice specimen bloom!

    Sheer Bliss is a Bill Warriner creation introduced by Jackson and Perkins (1985).
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2008
  11. drcarl

    drcarl Active Member

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    Yeah, that's why I like to keep her around....OH! You mean the ROSE! hahahaha

    Thank you!

    I LOVE it....
     

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