Premier Rose Gardeners since 1951

February Rose Care

by Mary Alice Pike Posted February 15, 2024

Are You Ready for Pruning Season?

 It's February and it's time for Spring Pruning! Pruning is an important task which requires a more skilled hand than that of the generalized cutback we do in December. Our focus is on cutting out dead and diseased canes, and removing spindly or unthrifty growth. By reducing the overall size of the plant, we're maintaining a desired shape of the bushes. This level of pruning allows for a strong foundation from which the bush will produce its new growth when spring arrives. For some (everblooming) climbing roses, the hard pruning may have been completed already, but for spring-only bloomers, we wait until after the bloom cycle is complete in order to properly prune it. Happy pruning!

What Do I Need to Prune?

1. Make sure your pruners are up to the task. Before you even step outside, make sure your pruners are free of rust and burrs. Sharpen them with tool sharpener and clean off the rust with a multi purpose lubrication oil. If your pruners have been neglected for a few seasons, you may need to replace the blade or get them professionally cleaned and sharpened at Witherspoon. By keeping your pruners sharpened you will put less strain on your body and reduce the risk of accidents. Most pruning accidents happen when the gardener is fighting the tool.

2. Protect your hands and arms by wearing gauntlet gloves. Rose gardeners know that you will occasionally have to pull a thorn or two or a million out of your hands and arms legs body etc. However, there are gloves out there that will make pruning season easier on your hands and arms. Gauntlet gloves not only protect your hands, they also cover your forearms. Trust me, when you are reaching into the center of your Falling in Love rose bush to prune, you will want these gloves!

3. Have a place for your clippings to go. Imagine this scenario. You have just pruned your entire rose garden only to turn around and see piles of thorny clippings waiting to be picked up and hauled away. If only you had thought to contain the clippings as you pruned! Having a heavy duty waste bag or tarp will save you from the heartache of cleaning up an entire gardens worth of clippings from off the ground.

Witherspoon Rose Culture's Pruning Checklist

Pruning Checklist


How To: Pruning Your Roses

by Donna Shultz Posted February 23, 2024

Hi! I am in Garner and think I need someone to come out and help me prune my roses. I think I have a lot going on. Can I call to get an appointment to have someone come out?
Witherspoon Rose Culture replied:
We are happy to help! Can you fill out this form with your information and we can get an appointment scheduled.

Thank you!
Witherspoon Rose Culture replied:
Hi! I can certainly have someone contact you. Thank you!

by Ellis Terrell, Jr Posted February 20, 2024

This is an awesome video, especially on the subject of Rose Pruning.
Witherspoon Rose Culture replied:
Thank you! We appreciate your feedback!

by Alys Kuchenbrod Posted February 13, 2024

Excellant video! I cant wait to get outside tomorrow and prune my roses!
Witherspoon Rose Culture replied:
Thank you!

by Kim Pryor Posted February 06, 2024

I pruned in November and removed dead last week when I did the January spray routine. Should I have waited to prune until now and left the bushes alone this fall?
Witherspoon Rose Culture replied:
We typically do our pruning in two stages to help ease the roses into winter. Keep an eye out for cold damage (maybe in the form of black canes) and cut any you see. We do a Cutback in December and then Prune typically in February. Pruning does kick start new growth so if your roses seem slow to come out of dormancy, make sure you fertilize, and then consider making some cuts to help stimiluate the plant. Feel free to email pictures, too!

by Ric L Saalwachter Posted February 06, 2024

my garden is in south Charlotte. i already have the very beginning of new leaves sprouting.
should I prune now or when?
Witherspoon Rose Culture replied:
Thanks for reaching out to us. Yes, this is the perfect time for pruning in NC to keep the rose bushes in dormancy. Our rule of thumb is for new growth to be about ¼ inch long. Cut them to 18-24 inches tall and don’t worry if any of the new growth is cut out because that is exactly what you want to do at this time.
If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
The Durham Garden Shop


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