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Publication: Garden Guides
Roses: Care and Pruning

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                   GardenGuides Newsletter 
                         May 9, 2006


Tips For A Rose Room

* Plant hedge roses 2 ft. apart for a fast-growing "wall."

* Pick fragrant roses for focal points because when people 
notice a beautiful rose, they then smell it. 

* Choose filler plants in contrasting or softer, more 
neutral colors.

* Train a climbing rose on an arbor or pergola by planting 
with the canes slanting towards the structure. 

* For a fabulous rose room on a balcony, plant miniature 
roses and compact floribundas.

* White's the right flower color choice in a rose room you 
can enjoy both day and night.
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Roses: Care and Pruning

Pruning and caring for roses isn't tricky or difficult 
whether you are a seasoned rose gardener or even just a 
beginner. Roses are one of the easiest and most rewarding 
flowering shrubs to grow. With proper pruning and some 
basic rose care, you will be able to produce some 
spectacular roses that will be the envy of your neighbor-

Rose Pruning Basics

Roses should be pruned by late winter or very early spring.  
The new buds will begin to swell early so keep watch and 
don't start too late. Make sure that you start with good 
quality sharp, clean pruners. Most important of all: when 
pruning roses make sure you have a good pair of gardening 
gloves and wear a long sleeved shirt!

Cut just above an outward facing bud

All pruning cuts should be made at a 45 degree angle. Make 
each cut about one quarter to one half inch above an outward 
facing bud. Cutting above an outward facing bud means that 
the new growth will be outward, away from the center of the 
plant which improves air circulation and gives the rose bush 
an attractive overall shape. If possible, dab on a bit of 
pruning seal after each cut. If you don't have that, some 
gardeners substitute white glue!


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Prune back the rose bush until you have anywhere from four 
to eight healthy looking canes. How tall you leave the bush 
will depend on the type of rose that you are growing. In 
general you want to encourage a bowl shape shrub with new 
growth facing outward.

Make sure you also remove any diseased or blighted leaves 
from the bush itself and from the ground surrounding it.

Cut right to the live tissue

When you are cutting back, make sure that you prune right to 
where there is live or green tissue. It should look light 
colored and healthy, not dark and porous. Dead branches need 
to be removed completely. Saw them off right to the base of 
the rose bush. Remove all the thin and spindly growth as 
well. Generally anything that is thinner than a pencil 
should be cut out. Take off all the suckers too. Suckers 
are healthy looking canes than grow from below the grafted 
section on the main stem of the rose bush.


Roses will benefit from feeding about three times a year. 
Feed them in the early spring,  right after you prune, then 
again when the first blooms appear and once more in late 
summer or early fall.  When you first plant your new rose 
bush add a handful of bonemeal to get the roots off to a 
good start.

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Roses need regular watering in order to produce the biggest 
and most beautiful blooms. Make sure that when you water, 
the moisture reaches down to the bottom of the roots, which 
is generally about eighteen inches. It is better to give a 
good watering once a week or so rather than a light sprinkle 
every other day.  Good deep watering will develop a healthy 
root system resulting in a vigorous healthy rose bush. As 
well, try to water with a hose or drip system from under-
neath the leaves as leaving water on the rose leaves 
themselves can encourage disease.  


Finally,  make sure that your rose bush gets enough sun. 
Roses need a minimum of six hours of sunshine each day, but 
more is even better. Your roses also need space so allow 
enough distance between plants to provide good air 
circulation between plants.

When you purchase a new rose bush it will come with specific 
comments and instructions about proper care and maintenance 
specific for its type. 

           GopherCentral's Question of the Week   

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Question of the Week   
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