If you wake early, while staying at the Colonial Inn and venture out into the quiet Village, you are bond to run into Lori, our flower expert. Lori is responsible for all the flowers, bushes, and greens on the Village Greene side of Smithville including the Colonial Inn and The Barn. Many mornings I will hear people asking her how to care for this or how to prune that, Lori is happy to give you all her secrets. So today, I asked this German born, hard working, miracle flower grower, how she keeps our Roses so beautiful.
Lori informs me that the rich colored, bud full rose bush bordering the Colonial Inn are, conveniently enough, named Knockout Roses. She believes that if you are thinking about planting a rose bush this is the one for you because pruning and caring for a Knockout roses is rather easy. Lori continues, this rose is a very low maintenance rose that would probably do Ok with no pruning one season. In fact, I recommend skipping the first season pruning for shrub roses. Let them grow into the shape they were intended to have, and then after the second year they could really benefit from a little pruning or shape up. Now of course, you should always remove dead, damaged wood or spindly growth, any time of the year.
When you just want to give the rose a trim, the best time to do it, is right after the first bloom flush in early summer. Followed with some Miracle Grow rose food. This is only a light trim now to cut off spent blooms and shape it a bit, so it looks good. This early summer rose trimming, speeds up another great flower flush, but only if you fertilize also. If you want your roses to bloom even more, and look super good, deadheading is good idea.
The big pruning takes place once a year in late winter or early spring as stated below.
Prune back vigorous shoots that originates close to the ground by a third.
The canes, branches coming off these, can be shortened to about a foot long.
And keep pruning away the leggy, twiggy growth, or you will end up with an unmanagable thicket in a few years.
You should also prune for form, otherwise try to maintain a natural shape.
Thankyou to the site Rose Gardening made easy for this diagram and pruning advise!