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Grandiflora after pruning

The Right Plant and Pruning
by Joan Goff, Master Rosarian

You want to start showing roses, like some of your friends in the rose society. But where to start? Hopefully, these articles by Gail Trimble and me will help you move in the right direction. There is of course, luck. Some people just know how to pick the right rose, tweak it a bit and win a ribbon. We are telling you now that you can be more productive in winning if you start with a few basics.

The right plant. I have not done this, but I know a number of rose lovers have. Keep track of the names of winning roses or better yet, get Bob Martinís list of winning roses for our district and buy those roses. Or just go to our District website, http://www. and look at the winners that Gail posts each year. This really puts you in the front row for blue ribbons. It is amazing but many of the winners we see at rose shows are repeat winners. I can mention a few off the top of my head: Gemini, HT; Olympiad, HT; Marilyn Monroe, HT; Dick Clark, G; Gold Medal, G; Julia Child, F; Hot Cocoa, Fl, Lavaglut, F; Joy, Mini; Irresistible, Mini; Louisville Lady, Mini-Flora; Dr. John Dickman, Mini-Flora; Rose de Rescht, OGR.

Pruning. This is something that all of us do, but those that win blue ribbons may prune down lower to get longer and stronger stems and larger blooms. Remember you can always take away from a stem but you canít add length. For your first pruning of the year (meaning now), and for roses that are repeat bloomers, prune down to at least half the height of the plant. Hybrid Teas and Grandifloras can be pruned hard (this is what pruning down lower is called). With Floribundas or shrubs, most rosarians prune out crossing stems, old and woody stems and clean out the center. Some shrubs donít like to be pruned hard. You will know if you pruned too much when they take all season to get back to the height they had in the winter. Most roses will come back to their pre-prune height by the first bloom cycle. Last year I pruned my two shrubs, Paul Ecke, Jr. too hard and it took them all season to get back their height. This year I will just prune lightly on them. Nearly all Old Garden Roses are once bloomers and are pruned after blooming.

Cane borer damage You will want to prune out the middle of the bush as well. This gives air circulation to the plant which helps to prevent disease. Ultimately, you could prune out the oldest canes leaving just 4 or 5 newer ones that are placed well. This may be harsh, but in this way you are insuring that the plant will exert its energy to just those 4 or 5 canes, rather than the 8 or 9 canes that were there before you started to prune. On very old bushes, there may be more like 15 canes and you could take this down to 6 or 7.

Remember to prune to outside growth and while you are there and looking closely, pinch out any growth that is starting to grow towards the center of the bush. You donít want any growth growing towards the center. I use my pruning shears and knock off any new growth growing in the wrong direction. Also remember to be extremely clean by raking up all of the leaves and anything else surrounding the bush. The bush should look barren, clean and happy! Are you all done now? No way! Now it would be a good idea to start a garden journal, indicating the date you pruned which plants and any other thoughts you want to record. You may add any new roses put in this year, even the price you paid and where you purchased the plant.









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