Rose Pruning Principles

1. Always prune dead wood back to healthy tissue. You will recognize the living tissue by its green bark and white pith core.

2. After you make each cut, cover it with a drop of white glue to ensure qa uick recovery, as well as provide protection against cane borers.

3. Prune to ensure the center of the bush is open for maximum air circulation.

4. Remove all growth on the main canes that are not capable of sustaining a reasonably thick stem on its own.

5. If suckers—growths from the root structure that sprout from below the bud union—are present, remove them as close to the main root cane as possible.

6. Remove woody old canes; saw them off as close to the bud union as you can get.

7. After you have completed pruning your rose bush, remove any remaining foliage from the canes and clean up debris from around the bush. Discard all foliage (do not use it in the compost heap).

How to Prune Roses

1. Make your pruning cuts at a 45-degree angle, about 1/4 inch above a leaf axle with a dormant eye.

2. Choose an eye on the outside of the cane and slope the cut down and away on the opposite side. This allows excess natural sap to rise and seal the cut without interfering with the developing eye. Cutting a rose bush to an outward-facing bud also promotes outward growth, opens up the plant to air circulation, creates more pleasing shapes, resists disease, and prevents the canes from becoming a tangle. Cuts closer to the eye than 1/4 inch may damage it. Cuts higher than that will leave a visible stubble—a haven for both pests and disease.

3. If the rose bush has foliage present, the location for your cut is easy to spot. Where there is no foliage to guide you, find the dormant eye by locating where the foliage was once connected. The eye is normally visible as a slight swelling above the surface of the cane.

4. Use this same pruning technique when cutting stems for display and when removing spent blooms. For rose bush care, remember to sharpen your pruning tools periodically—either do it yourself or have someone do it who is specially trained.

5. Wipe metal surfaces after each use with a soft, lightly oiled rag to prevent rust. Store tools in a dry area.

To read the full article, visit Better Homes and Gardens page here: https://www.bhg.com/gardening/flowers/roses/tips-for-pruning-roses/

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