When Should I Prune Roses In Arizona?

roanimare(z9)January 1, 2013

Prune after the 15th of September and only take off about 1/4 of the bush. Your cuts should be at a slight angle about 1/4" above an outward facing leafset (bud eye) and removal of any dead canes. Usually you would be removing any crossing canes, also, but you might want to wait until the hard pruning time in January before taking very much off...breaking you in, so to speak.

All debris needs to be raked up and disposed of and a light application of rose food and chelated iron added to the top 2" of soil, watered well before and after application. It's a good idea to remove the dead leaves in September but not ALL the leaves. You'll do that in January.

Here's the instructions for the winter/January pruning. In January, prune off as much as 1/2 to 3/4 of your bush height, leaving 3-5 good, strong canes. In September, we prune lighter....about 1/4 of the height. This is specifically for hybrid teas older than 2 years. For newer plantings, take off less.

I'm hesitant to prune my roses right now because the daytime temps are still over 70 degrees and they think it's spring! I'll prune my bushes that are out of bloom or those that have already bloomed then wait to prune others until the end of their bloom cycle....before Feb 15. Within 6 wks they'll have leaves and within 8 weeks they'll have buds.

If you have floribundas, grandifloras, shrubs or climbers to prune, plan the following:

floribundas & grandifloras.....cut below the candelabras (one cane with many stems) This may be 1/2 the bush, maybe less.

shrubs...once-bloomers are only pruned after they've bloomed, usually June. Perpetual bloomers, for example, David Austins, are pruned to about 1/2 size with crossing canes removed.

Climbers...these guys need a good two years in the ground before they get a major pruning but after that, plan to take as much as 1/2 but tie the canes so they flow horizontal, allowing for vertical stems that will produce your new growth.

All leaves off, all bushes. Rake up the mess and put in trash, not in compost.

The summer instructions are water, water, no food, afternoon shade and more water. The spring instructions are water, feed, water, spray for bugs, spray for powdery mildew, water. For more information contact MoRoseAZ on our AZ Forum -- MoRoseAZ is a Consulting Rosarian in the Phoenix area and a member of the AZ West Valley Rose Society, Mesa/East Valley Rose Society and American Rose Society. She's always happy to help with rose questions.

Thank you for the information MoRoseAZ!

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