As many gardeners know, one of those easy-to-remember hints for when to prune your roses, is that you should prune nearly all your roses around Valentine’s Day, except for climbers and spring-blooming only roses.
However, with this year’s unusually mild winter, where several varieties of roses are already in full bloom, I found myself wondering whether they should be pruned now or not. Ann Lamb says that her Julia Child rose is prettier this winter than it has been in any other time, so should she prune it now? Thank goodness, Dallas County Master Gardener has several Consulting Rosarians in their membership, so the question was put to them. Many thanks go to Susan Flanagan, Certified Master Gardener and Consulting Rosarian, who along with some of her Rosarian friends sent this response:
“I just now talked to a friend who knows a ton about roses. There are a few roses (hybridized by Paul Readon) that are spring bloomers only but they don’t do well here.
So my advice is to go ahead and prune all your roses. Cutting off the current blooms will not impede the coming spring blooms. If anything, they will make the roses stronger, as you are pruning out the dead, diseased and crossing limbs as well as the very thin ones. And you are cutting a portion of the top branches. The spring bloom will usually display bigger than the ones that are blooming now. And again, if you have any climbers that are spring bloomers only, then prune them after they bloom just as you would prune once blooming plants like bridal wreath spirea and forsythia.”
So, if you want, go ahead and make yourself a beautiful bouquet of roses for Valentine’s Day from those roses that are blooming now. Then prune your roses as you usually would. With this year’s mild, confusing winter, we may receive ”two for the price of one” flushes of blooms.
Picture by The Redneck Rosarian