How to prune roses?

Credit: Akinome

Q: I have three different types of roses – all new to me this year – and would like some advice on pruning the following: Bonicas, Rosa glauca, Bayse’s purple rose.

Everyone complicates pruning roses. It’s a simple easy task that can be done many different ways, all with good results.

Always remove anything that is broken, dead or diseased. If you have a repeat flowering rose such as Bonica, you can prune it according to the size you want. Light pruning for a larger shrub, harder pruning if a smaller shrub is wanted (that method can be used for all roses). I tend to prune the average rose by 50 per cent or more to keep them tidy.

A rose like Glauca is a species rose that is grown for foliage, hips and one show of flowers each year. That type of rose grows into a large carefree shrub and is best left alone with just a few very old canes cut to the ground every couple of years. Some people will leave a rose like Glauca several years before pruning out any of the old dead word. Species roses like Glauca should NOT be cut back half way in the fashion of the modern roses. They like to be big open shrubs.

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