Since we were getting our porch repainted, of course I wanted to so some other…
When we moved into our house four years ago, we inherited 9 rose bushes the backyard. The previous owner told us it was to deter any burglars with the thorny stalks – whaa? I hope there are no burglars! And although they are beautiful, they do take some work. I finally figured out how to take care of them and am happy to report they are all doing fine. Considering I can barely keep house plants alive, I’m a little more bold outdoors and think I’ve just about mastered how to prune roses.
Fist, you’ll need some gear to take on clipping and snipping away all that you need to get your roses looking good. I wear the rubber coated gloves because we have some nasty thorns on our bushes. I mean nasty, see? We don’t call this bush “The Bit@h” for nothing.
Other than gloves and long sleeves, I use Pruning Shears (affiliate link) and long handled loppers to reach inside of the bushes. Since I can’t touch some of the parts with my hands, even with gloves on, the clippers do it for me. Your fancy gold bracelet is optional when pruning.
Pruning roses only requires 2 guidelines. So if you are nervous about cutting off too much, don’t worry, just keep these three tips in mind and you’ll be all set.
- Cut off any dead branches, rose hips and dead blooms
- Cut off any branches that cross other branches
See, two simple steps. Now let’s get into the details.
First, the dead stuff. This may be obvious but it goes a long way in helping your roses to live and grow in a healthy manner. Since I had not actually pruned these bushes very much since we moved in, I had lots of dead branches to cut off. You may think you’re cutting a lot, but don’t worry, getting rid of the dead stuff is helpful.
All of these four pictures below are parts where you can cut the bush. 1. Old blooms 2. Dead branches, big or small. See the branches missing leaves? Cut those off. See the long ones sticking out with no leaves or other branches on them at all? Cut those off too.
I always collect my clippings in a bucket and then throw them away. No need to do extra work and rake the lawn.
We’ve since taken out 3 bushes, one was mostly dead and doing nothing for us and the other two were very little and crowding our landscape, so we did away with them.
The large thorny one I showed you above used to be very big and arched over, covering most of the path to the backyard, so I cut a lot of it off. Again, at first this seems scary, but roses can handle a lot of trimming for the most part and this one could have used a good sprucing up. Here is the before and after. See how well it bloomed even though I got rid of most of it?
The other colors in our yard are white, light pink, bright fuchsia and red. Although I’m more of a modern and simple decorator, even in my garden, I do like having these bushes to brighten things up.
Do you have any tips for pruning roses? Or secret tricks for keeping them healthy that you want to share? Leave a note in the comments.
Here are some of my other backyard posts:
- City Landscaping Ideas
- New Flagstone Patio and Backyard Makeover
- Newly Painted Garage Door
- Flowers in the Garden
- Tips for Gardening on a Budget at Making Lemonade