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#81601 Jul 3rd, 2007 at 09:18 AM
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My rose bush has clearly never been pruned. The folks before me, I guess they just never did it. Well, now it is out of control, and I have no clue where to start. I don't want to kill it. It's starting to spill over into the neighbors driveway...I am posting links to the pics I've taken. I've left them in their original size of 1024 x 768 so that you may see the detail and possibly suggest where to snip and cut. Thanks for any suggestions...

Rose Bush 1

Rose Bush 2

Rose Bush 3

Rose Bush 4

Rose Bush 5

Rose Bush 6


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i would start with the bottom stems and the dead sticks. But be sure to wear gloves because it can become painful. Once you prune it you will see that is going to be worth it.


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the best time to prune is in spring or in the fall.

for the moment, i'd tie up whatever is blocking access to the neighbors driveway. then, in the fall, i'd trim everything back to somewhere between 2 and 4 feet tall.

and mulch them well with crushed leaves for the winter.


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The pics are a little tight so its hard to tell for certain but my guess is 1 to 5 are climbers and 6 is a bush. The climbers are a tangled mess so prune them to about 2 to 3 feet from the base and start over. Any canes not part of the tangle can be saved full length. Pruning is an early spring thing but you should get away with it now if you water and fertilize. You need a trellis for the climbers thats fairly substantial. The canes need to be trained to the trellis back and forth or horizontially. small branches will grow vertically from the leaf unions and develop the blooms. You may see the pattern on existing tangled canes if they grow horizontally they will grow blooms from them. Vertical canes do not grow flowers. After the flowers fade cut them off and new will grow next year. Really aggressive growers need to be pruned to a central structure yearly. Allow new canes from the roots to come up and add to the plants mass or replace tired or dead ones.

The bush needs to be pruned to about 2 feet from the ground. Prune any dead brown canes to the ground. Prune the cane so a growth bud is on the outside of the plant aimed away from the center.

When pruning canes or flowers remember the 5-3 rule. Prune below the dead flower just above the first 5 lobed leaf.

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I looked at the pics,but was only able to see 1-3.
I notice your 'leader canes' from your climbers.you will want to attach those to something.Your white thinggy won't be strong enough(winds hard rain can tobble)I have my climber on a fence.I too have a wild climber going a-wal like yours cause I've let it grow for 3 years never trimming it<but I started out with a rooted piece.Some climbers are ONCE blooming and they bloom on old wood.so the new stems those are forming now will bloom next year.on your main cane will be stems comeing off.you can trim some of those back to 6-10 inches.they will get some new growth on them.so think trimming NOW is a better option for you so your new growth will harden off by winter.when you trim these you will get some new growth,but it will all be healthy.some of your canes have likely rooted on the ground.

ALSO you can call your local ARS (American rose Society)and ask about someone comeing to consult at your house for some visual help pruneing those monsters.When hubby overloaded me with roses for mothers day one year(181)...thats what I did.I was new to roses.I had grew them but not planted any.I learned alot.I wasn't even a member.I don't have over 100 anymore & I've narrowed down what I'll buy/purchase/trade to grow.Blackspot is at home in my climate& I prefer fragrant roses.My wild child 'Lady Godiva' is sending out all kinds of new shoots.I KNOW I need to get my older canes trimmed.I do wish my fence was longer.
I'll try to look later at the other photos that did not come in for me.pick a manageable cane from your climber.get some thick cow hide gloves a size larger than you wear so can fit some of them brown jersey type cheapies inside.rose thorns can hurt like he$$.look for kitchen tongs if you have them.i've even used magazines to move canes(open mag stick cane inside close mag relocate open mag)I couldn't see your porch good enough to see if could attach to it.


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