Pruning Bush or Dwarf Roses

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Pruning Bush or Dwarf
Roses

Pruning
Bush or Dwarf Roses -And now to the pruning of
roses that are not newly planted. I warn those
who are not interested that it is a complex subject,
but if it is any inducement to the reader to read
on, I will be as brief as possible, if only for
my own sake, for the printer is clamoring for
“copy,” and, alas! How, and where shall I begin?
What does the amateur first want to know when
he is told how to do anything in the garden ?
Why, he wants to know when to do it. Happy idea
! The best time to prune all roses that are commonly
grown as bushes is, in the southern and south
midland counties, the third week in March. An
exception is made in the case of Tea roses, the
pruning of which is deferred until the first week
in April. But nowadays, Hybrid Teas and the true
Teas are so much mixed up that even the rose expert-and
by this I mean the professional who grows nothing
else but roses-even he is not sure to which class
some of them belong. In proof of this I could
mention several roses that are classed in one
catalogue as Teas, and in another as Hybrid Teas
!. I mention this because the true Teas are not
so hardy as the crossbred or Hybrid Teas, and
while one may not prune the true Teas until April,
the others are pruned in March. But perhaps this
is a futile point and not worth laboring. In the
northern and north midland counties roses are
pruned a fortnight later. In the descriptive lists
given at the end of this chapter will be found
the names of numerous roses for the . amateur,
and in many cases particulars of the required
pruning are given, so . that here I need not enter
into details of the varied pruning suited to different
sorts. This knowledge, indeed, is only to be acquired
by a wide experience among the different classes
of roses, so I shall confine myself, to. an explanation
of the principles and practice of rose pruning
generally.

Let
us first consider bush or dwarf roses ; those
most commonly grown in this form are Hybrid Perpetuals,
Hybrid Teas, and Teas. It is among these classes
that the amateur will find the best roses for
garden display and for cutting. Apart from a knowledge
of the characteristics of each variety, which
I cannot here attempt to convey, the pruner should
first acquaint himself with the habit and manner
of growth of each sort. Some grow much more strongly
than others ; some grow erect ; others are inclined
to spread, and so on. Such an acquaintance will
give the reader a clue as to whether he must shorten
the shoots little or much. In any case, the first
care is to cut out all growths that are soft and
bend easily to the touch ; these are quite useless.
Then, all thin and weak shoots that obviously
can never bear a decent bloom are to be cut out,
and those that have grown towards the c6ntre of
the plant are either cut out or shortened to a
bud that points in an outward direction. If .
they can be spared, they are cut away altogether.
The experienced rose grower aims at keeping the
center of his plants open, and this is accomplished
by cutting every growth to a bud that points away
from the center. This is quite one-of the most
important items the pruner has to bear in mind,
and makes all the difference between good and
bad pruning. Then comes the great question of,
How long shall we leave each growth? It is much
more easily asked than it is satisfactorily answered.
Something depends upon the -aims of the grower.
If he likes to have a tidy rose garden with each
shoot more or less in its proper place, and to
have. fewer blooms of good quality rather than
many blooms of fair quality, then all growths
of, say, the thickness of a lead pencil or the
little finger, are cut to within 3 or 4 buds of
the base. – If quantity rather than quality is
the end in view, then such growths may be left
6 or 8 buds long. In plain words and figures ,
I cannot get nearer to a precise explanation of
my point; in fact, I feel I am rather foolish
to attempt so much. But having done it and having
no eraser at hand, I will let it go, trusting
to the intelligence of the reader to make up for
what I am lacking in clear description. Growths
that are not so thick as a lead pencil are cut
back to within two buds of their base. In this
case it does not matter whether you want many
or few flowers, for you may think yourself lucky
to get any at all ! If you are fortunate enough,
by good cultivation, to get growths on the roses
to which the pencil standard does not apply then,
if you cannot by the law of averages judge how
long to leave them, I advise that you call in
the nearest qualified gardener to help you out
of the difficulty. These remarks apply to the
Hybrid Perpetual and the Hybrid Tea roses. The
pruning of the Teas is so simple as scarcely to
need doing at all. Not to continue in a paradoxical
strain, they are generally so well pruned by the
winter that the gardener’s knife is scarcely required.
The stronger shoots are cut to within four buds
of the base, and the weaker growths to within
two buds. If as many blooms as possible are wanted
without regard to size and form, then the strongest
may be left two or three buds longer. But I would
strongly advise the amateur who values the expressed
admiration of his friends and really wishes to
see his roses at their best, to prune hard rather
than leave the shoots too long. It is certainly
a case of ” spare the knife and spoil the rose
” so far as most of the roses commonly grown are
concerned. Light pruning, as a rule, lays the
foundation of a rose that is bare at the base
and full of weak, spindling growths at the top.
It certainly does so if the grower does not prune
hard the first year or two. All things considered,
I shall pose as an advocate of hard pruning, for
I have found that the average rose lives longer
and gives more blooms worth having than a rose
that is lightly pruned.

 

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   Pruning
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   Pruning
Climbing Roses

   7 Steps
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Design

   Cutting Flowers For Display
   Heeling In
   Planting A Bare Root Rose
  
Planting A Container Rose
   Pruning A Rose Before Planting

Links

   EveryRose.com
   Roses
– Hometime

   The
Rose Garden – Single Roses

   Yesterday’s
Roses

   Rose
Gardens

 


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