The Edmond Sun


February 13, 2014

Tips on pruning various types of roses

OKLA. CITY — Hybrid tea roses, the most popular garden rose,  require regular pruning to maintain vigorous growth, flower quality and quantity, and to remove dead, diseased, weak or broken branches. Hybrid tea roses have large flowers produced singly on long stems or in clusters and include common varieties such as Peace, Sterling Silver, Double Delight, Mister Lincoln and Tropicana.

Hybrid tea roses which bloom on new growth, are pruned in spring just as the buds begin to swell. The amount of wood removed depends primarily on how much winter injury has occurred however, pruning can also be used to manipulate the size, timing and number of flowers that a plant produces in the coming summer months. Like any blooming plant, rose leaves generate the energy resources required for flower development and it takes 25-35 leaves to create and bring into bloom one rosebud. Consequently, removing more or less foliage through pruning will affect the amount of flowers each plant can generate.

Moderate to light pruning is preferred. This technique will produce slightly smaller flowers in greater numbers and is achieved by pruning plants back to 12-24 inches in height or about half the branch length in spring. Completely remove dead, diseased, weak or broken branches by cutting them back to the crown. Also inspect the plant for crossing or rubbing branches.

Severe or “hard” pruning will cause hybrid tea roses to develop larger flowers, but blooming is delayed and fewer flowers will be produced overall. Severe pruning is recommended only on plants for exhibition or show.

A few last things to keep in mind include the following. Use sharp, scissor-type pruners to make the cleanest cuts. Make pruning cuts at about a 45-degree angle to facilitate shedding of water from the cut stubs. Always cut branches back to an outward facing bud and remove suckers originating from the rootstock. Deadheading, or removing spent blooms, will keep your plants blooming all summer. Cut the stems back to the first 5-leaflet leaf beneath the old flower. Finally, pruning too early in the season can cause plants to initiate growth that is damaged by late frosts, so do not prune prior to March 15.

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