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When should I prune my roses?

Suzanne Asked

When and how low should I cut my roses back in Russellville,KY?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Suzanne: The best time to prune roses in Kentucky is during the late winter/early spring, before new growth begins. Pruning encourages new growth, so we want to avoid this heading into the coldest months of the year. Tender new growth is much more susceptible to winter damage. We prune roses to maintain size and invigorate older, neglected plants. We should also prune to remove dead/diseased or crossing canes; this can be done any time of year. As a general rule, it is best not to remove more than one-third of the size of the rose during a pruning session. 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. For now, add a 2-3 inch layer of mulch for winter protection.

Angie Oakley

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