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Pruning Roses in the Fall


Probably the only thing enjoying our roses at this time of the year are the insects. They're using them as a home. We sure not using them as cut flowers because the heat of the summer is burning them up. But if we take action now we can have roses during the cool of the fall, and the intensity of the color will be better and they will last a lot longer and give us beauty again.

Now what we need to think about is how to revitalize them for fall, and basically what we need to do is prune them back a little bit. Of course we have to keep them watered and fertilized a little bit, but the pruning back is very important.

How do you prune a rose at this time of the year? You remove 1/4th of the growth on it, not nearly as severe as you did in the spring, but 1/4th of the growth. One of the obvious cuts is back to pencil size wood. Cut all canes back to pencil size wood. This is small, so come on down here to about pencil size wood, cut it right above a bud that is facing outward, because you want an open center on the rose.

The next thing is any dead wood, such as we have here, we'll obviously remove that and seal all cuts with glue. And that will stimulate growth for this fall and give us more blooms and we can enjoy fall color again with our roses. But act now. Prune before September 20th. Sometimes people cut half the bush back, wait about ten days, cut the other half and then they have both halves blooming at different times.

This has been Jerry Parsons Vegetable Specialist for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service the Weekend Gardener.

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