It's rare that I ask for gardening advice in a post. It's not that I don't need advice because I'm an expert in everything related to plants and gardening -- far from it! I'm not an expert, and often do need advice. It's just that I like figuring things out myself. I like trying something that seems to be logical to me, then seeing if it does what I expected. This approach usually works pretty well, as it's difficult to make terrible mistakes with most of the plants I grow. Despite my unintentional attempts to harm them, they overcome and keep on going.
Today is different though. I've decided that I finally need some advice on pruning my shrub roses. If you know anything about pruning these types of roses, please keep reading and post a comment!
I have three types of "shrub" roses in my garden. They all have a similar growing habit in that they get pretty bushy and flower all summer long. They also get "pruned" by deer, and in June they attract Japanese beetles like crazy.
First up is 'Morden Sunset':
|'Morden Sunset' blooms from last year.|
It's really starting to leaf out already, as you can see in this post's first photo. This doesn't grow as wide as the other roses, and this seems to be one that the deer seem to like the most, maybe because of its location more than flavor.
I usually just cut this one back to about 3' tall, but I may cut it a little shorter this year. This is probably the easiest of my rose pruning cases, since it's not as vigorous as the others.
Next up is 'Nearly Wild', a pink-flowered variety:
|A couple more months and it will look like this again.|
It's also quite congested, with some pretty old canes in there:
Do I need to worry about removing old canes? Do I need to thin them out any?
|'Nearly Wild' rose blooms from last season.|
None of these roses have problems with disease, and I want them to stay shrubby -- I don't want to be able to see through them -- so thinning doesn't seem necessary to me. Maybe some thinning would be beneficial though? I just don't know.
Finally I have three 'Home Run' roses. This one is the biggest:
This post shows how I cut it back last year. It was about 3' tall after pruning, and it got almost 6' tall this year, which is too big. So I want to prune it more than I did last year. Here's the base:
Do I need to remove anything from here? I'll take out any dead canes that I find, but there are usually only one or two smaller ones. It's the old-but-not-dead parts that I don't know what to do with.
|'Home Run' roses last summer. The deer helped prune this.|
I really want these plants to stay full and bushy, but not get quite as big this year as they did last year.
If anybody has advice on what I should be doing when pruning these shrub roses, please let me know!