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Is It Too Late To Prune My Rose Bushes Now?…

Marsha Asked

Is it too late to prune my rose bushes now? They are leggy and not bushy. This is the second summer for them.

The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Marsha in Indiana: The best time to prune roses is late winter/early spring before new growth begins. Pruning while they are dormant will make them less susceptible to winter injury and other potential problems. Since your rose has already broken dormancy, pruning now is not the best option, especially if you are pruning to control the size. If your reason for pruning is to remove dead/diseased or crossing canes, go ahead and get your pruners out. Otherwise, if you can wait until next winter it would be in the best interest of your roses. As a general rule, it is best not to remove more than one-third of the size of the rose. Do this year after year to maintain the size you want. Use a clean, sharp, and rust-free pair of pruners. Make your cuts flush to the nearest intersecting branch so there are no stubs. If your roses are completely out of control, it is certainly not going to kill them if you prune them a bit now. There is no risk of winter injury at this point, so if you absolutely have to prune go ahead but in the future it is better to do so while they are dormant.

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