Let’s Get Real Gardening, Roses

Roses are the most rewarding and soul tending flower to plant grow.  But let’s get real, we have other parts of our lives that take priority.  Work and family take precedence to the timely perfect art of trimming a rose.

In our area the best time to trim starts late November, however, we trim traditionally in January due to the active holidays. Yet January also has its own daily planner full such as catching up on bookkeeping not completed in December, preparing for taxes, putting up holiday decorations, post-holiday housekeeping, along with the sluggishness of either overeating or too much fun. Nonetheless, rose trimming is a priority.

Trimming Tea Roses

The best advice is from an old written in 1962 by John Milton, Rose Growing Simplified. He demystifies pruning roses with a few common-sense instructions:

-Remove dead wood

-remove branches that interfere with others or spoil the appearance of the plants, keeping a shape that is appealing and easy to tend

-remove all suckers

-cut just above a bud or eye or you eliminate the source of future flowers.

-cut at a 45-degree angle

-He prefers to trim his roses 12-15” high.  Since we had some years of wild trimming due to my being out of town for a few years during trimming season, many of mine are taller and are stupendous producers.

So simple, and it works for us. We also advise:

-All roses do not have to be trimmed in one day, many times (this year) I will go out between a chore trim a rose or two and return to check on laundry, or what is on the stove for dinner.

-Clean all debris, which is a haven for diseases and insects.

-We wipe down our clippers between roses with alcohol to prevent spreading of diseases. If you have the little packs of alcohol wipes in your garden bag they are great, if not we use a bottle of alcohol with a rag.      

Lastly, don’t be intimidated, enjoy your roses, what you don’t like in your trimming one year experiment the next year, remember this is  ‘Let’s get real’ gardening.