Pruning your Roses – A Spring Rite for Rosarians

We prune our roses for several reasons – to keep our roses healthy, to control its excessive growth and to shape the bush for a better display.

 

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Before we rush out there in the garden, make sure you have all the right equipments. A good pair of bypass pruner preferably Felco. No 2 is recommended. Keep your pruner very sharp. A sharp pruner is less taxing to your hand and creates less bruising on your roses. For cutting larger canes, a lopper is a better choice. Their longer handles make it easier to cut through thicker canes. You should also have a pruning saw for those extra thick canes.

 

Also, of utmost importance is to wear gloves. A good leather glove is a must to protect yourself from too many scratches. Long sleeved shirts or jackets will protect your arms and wrists. Hat is also important to protect your face from the sun and to protect your head if you are balding. Make sure your tetanus booster shot is up to date.

 

Your first agenda is to cut the dead, diseased and damaged canes. Cut until you see the white or cream-colored pith. If necessary, you can go down to almost near the bud union. Roses will bloom on a dark-colored pith but once the weather warms, the canes die back or become unproductive. Don’t go crazy looking for white pith on “Peace” rose. It does not have white pith. After getting rid of the dead and diseased canes, begin cutting the longer canes first and get them out of your way. Pay close attention to what you are doing. Work from the outside in. Remember that you are surrounded with thorns so be very careful.

 

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Cut above the leaf with five leaflets to about ¼ inch from the bud. If longer, the cane can die back and if shorter, new growth might break off in the wind. Cut to an outward facing bud so a new growth will face outward too. With few exception, like roses that tend to grow sideways, cut in the direction you want the branch to grow. Roses like The McCartney Rose, First Prize and Just Joey tend to sprawl so prune them to an inside acing bud. Always remember to aim at an open space in the bush. Make the cut on a slant so water drain off. I used to seal the cut with Elmer’s glue to prevent the cane borer from burrowing into the newly cut canes. Someone told me it is not necessary.

 

You also want to open the center of the bush for good air circulation to ward off diseases. Cut long and straggly canes and canes that are crossing or touching each other leaving the stronger canes. I usually cut to about a foot high except for the shrub types which can go from 18 inches to 24 inches tall. Leave three or four good healthy canes. If only one cane is available, cut it lower to encourage new growth from the bud union.

 

On Hybrid Teas, Grandiflora, and some Floribundas, remove stems smaller than a pencil because they will not produce good blooms for cutting. For exhibitors, cutting back to 6 to 12 inches length will produce stronger canes and good quality blooms. Miniature roses are pruned the same way as Hybrid Teas. If you find this too tedious, you can go drastic and use a hedge pruner and prune to 5” high. Mother Nature is very forgiving and usually corrects our mistakes so don’t worry too much. Climbers and ramblers bloom from the 2-year old canes so cut the dead wood only and trim to desired shape. Old Garden Roses also bloom from the second-year wood so cut only the dead wood in spring and prune drastically after flowering to promote growth and improve its shape.

 

Remove all blind shoots. These are branches that taper down to almost nothing. Remove spurs. These are short growths only a few inches long that have hardened off and taper down to a point. They will not flower.

 

Prune to desired height you want for your rose. Some rosarians want their roses tall. I want my roses short and compact looking. I can also look down at them instead of stretching my neck to appreciate their beauty. After you are done pruning, remove every leaf. These old leaves are the reservoir for black spot and mildew. You might also want to start your spraying program with dormant oil to take care of the overwintering insects. Also, spread a handful of Epsom salt around each bush for better growth. Then you can relax a little bit while waiting for the new growth to arrive.

 

Until Next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda R Morgan

Author & Garden Writer

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The Green Rose for St. Patrick’s Day

The Green Rose

 

Is there a pot of gold for us lovers of roses?  For all the Irish in all of us, we can say we have a green rose, not St. Patrick rose which only has a tint of green, but a real green rose.  It is Viridiflora ‘Rosa Monstrosa’ otherwise known as The Green Rose.  The buds are small, oval, of soft bluish green color and quite beautiful.  The petals of the bloom reverted back to leaves (petals are modified leaves) and it does not have reproductive organs.  The “blooms” are usually formed in clusters throughout the year, and a spray of this rose is wonderful.   As you would expect from an Old Garden Rose, this one is fragrant too.  It has a spicy fragrance.  But unless you know what you’re looking for, it is hard to find the bud since the bush is totally green.  But is it really a rose?  The Green Rose is just that, a green rose.  It blooms continually through the season.  The small plant grows to 3’ tall and has few thorns.  It can be grown in a pot, and is rarely out of “blooms”.

 

It is an oddity and a conversation piece to say the least.  Just as when you present your friend with a perfect rose and they ask “Is that real?”, I bet you this same person will tell you this one is not a rose.  However, records say The Green Rose has been in cultivation as early as 1743 and is a sport from Rosa Indica (The China Rose of England and the Daily Rose of America).  So take pride, we have our own green to celebrate. 

 

“May the sun shine warm upon your face

And

May the rains fall softly upon your rose beds.”

 

Try it.  You might like it.  People either love or hate this rose   It is a wonderful rose to use as a filler material in arrangements or as a landscape rose. But you will have some visitors in your garden who will say “That is the ugliest flower I’ve ever seen.  Why do you give it space?” Because it is unique and fragrant. It is also a rose and it belongs to my rose collection.

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday Tips – Summer Care in the Garden

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Keep all plants mulched and watered.  Water first thing in the morning to avoid wetting leaves which can cause fungal diseases.  Use a rain gauge to tell exactly how much rain has fallen on your property.

Deadhead perennials and annuals regularly.  Mow grass as needed.

Keep ahead of weeds; never let them develop seeds.

Look for signs of insects or diseases; control quickly.

Feed annuals and container plants.  Harvest vegetables, herbs, and fruits as they ripen; protect from bird damage.

Trim hedges and prune shrubs that require shaping.

Cut herbs and flowers for drying.

Divide spent perennials if needed.

Roses need weekly attention throughout the summer (water, fertilizer, fungus and insect control).

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda, The Rose Lady

Author and Garden Writer

How many books by Ernest Hemingway do you own and have read?

Ernest Hemingway is considered by some people as one of the greatest writers of all times. My husband and I are avid readers but we don’t see it. I must admit I have not read all his books. Only three of them.

The Sun Also Rises

For Whom the Bell Tolls

A Farewell to Arms

We are of the opinion that there are plenty of writers who are better writers than Ernest Hemingway. However that did not stop us from acquiring some of his books. We own quite a few of them. I started collecting books even before I got married and I acquired those three Hemingway’s books at that time.

From the picture below, you can see the three volumes to your right on the second shelf from the top.

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Easton Press published a 20-book collection of Ernest Hemingway books a few years ago and the books are still listed in their catalog. I decided to buy them for my library. Here they are on the top shelf of one of my bookcases. On the second shelf, you’ll see two books with purple or rather blue cover lying flat. Those are the two proofs of my latest book, “The Wentworth Legacy” which is now on pre-order on Kindle.

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Here are the names of the books by Ernest Hemingway on the top shelf.

For Whom the Bell Tolls

The Sun Also Rises

A Farewell to Arms

The Old Man and The Sea

To Have and Have Not

The Dangerous Summer

Across the River and Into The Trees

Islands In The Stream

Winner Take Nothing

A Moveable Feast

The Garden of Eden

True at First Light

In Our Time

The Fifth Column

The Torrents of Spring

Death in the Afternoon

Green Hills of Africa

The Snows of Kilimanjaro

By-Line Ernest Hemingway

Men Without Women

 

I hope someday I will be able to read them all. Maybe I will change my mind about my opinion of him as a writer. For now, I’m reading books by other authors besides writing some of my own books.

 

Until next time. Keep on reading.

Rosalinda Morgan

Author and Garden Writer

The Wentworth Legacy

The Iron Butterfly

BAHALA NA (Come What May)