Northern Nevada gardening and landscaping: Pruning roses | Carson City Nevada News

April 15th is usually a safe date to prune roses. The worst freezes are likely behind us, so any new growth created by pruning should survive any cold spells that come before summer. This can vary depending on the microclimate, with some areas being more likely to freeze more than others.

Microclimate can even fluctuate on a property, e.g. B. when the north side is colder than the south side. Pruning before April 15 often leads to rose cancer developing in the rose bushes below the cut.

If you then remove the infected stems, nothing may be left to grow. We prune often to make a bush look better, but pruning also promotes a healthy plant with more flowers. By pruning, we can get rid of damaged, dead, or crossing stems. Roses that are three years old or younger require little pruning.

Roses are prone to disease, so sharp disinfected tools are required. Blunt tools damage rose stems and cause wounds that invite pathogens. Tools that have not been disinfected with alcohol also transmit disease. It is advisable to disinfect not only a single rose, but also several roses between cuts.

Bypass shears and loppers make neat cuts instead of smashing the stem like anvil shears sometimes do. A shattered stalk is an invitation to disease. A pruning saw is a good tool for heavy old handles.

Cuts should be made 1/4 inch above an outward facing bud. The direction the bud goes is the direction of growth. The Utah Rose Society recommends removing “approximately one-third of the total height or a foot lower than the desired final height.”

Remove and discard any old sticks, stems, leaves, etc. to eliminate sources of disease. Do not compost rose materials. There are many types of roses that require different pruning techniques for optimal flowering. Visit the Utah Rose Society website for more information.

Rose bushes should be sealed with white school glue after pruning to prevent rose bushes from destroying the stem. Just dab a little bit of glue on the cut end. Check which part of the country the information is written for before following the advice on pruning roses.

Too often it comes from areas where there are humid winters and roses don’t dry out. Your sky can be bleak for months, protecting plants from the sun. Here we generally have sun and wind with little moisture in winter. Rose bushes and crowns often die back in the face of drought and drying winds.

– JoAnne Skelly is Associate Professor & Extension Educator Emerita at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. She can be reached at

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