April Gardening 2017

by Jane Ahrens

From Mélie’s Garden

Wintering rose bush. Click to view larger image.

April is the month when I remove the Christmas tree boughs from the bottom of my rose bushes and rake away any old leaves that might have remained on the ground. I prune the bushes and start my annual rose care program.

Recently I read the American Rose Society’s “Ten Principles of Rose Pruning”. It was easy to understand and follow – a sort of “Rose Pruning for Dummies”. These ten guidance principles apply to Hybrid Teas and Grandiflora roses and with some modification to Floribundas and Miniature roses.

  1. Plan your pruning from the ground up, sit on the ground and look at the bud union and the canes that come up from it.
  2. If a cane is old and gray, cut it off. It will only produce spindly growth.
  3. If one cane is crossing another cane or is too close – cut it off.
  4. Mentally divide the bush into three equal parts and prepare to remove the top one-third.
  5. Look for an outward facing bud eye and cut on an angle just above it.
  6. Roses are tough; if you make a mistake in cutting, it will definitely survive!
  7. Canes left should be larger than a pencil and the cut ends of larger canes can be sealed with a drop of Elmer’s glue to prevent borers.
  8. Remove any remaining leaves on the bush or around the base.
  9. Take a wire brush and brush off the bud union, this will encourage new healthy canes to grow.
  10. Gather up all your clippings and old leaves and deposit them in the trash, not in the compost pile, this will prevent rose diseases from spreading.
Rose bush pruning.

Most of the roses in my garden are David Austin roses, so I also looked up pruning hints about them and found they were very similar to the American Rose Society. They agree with the cut back of one-third of the height of the canes but suggest two-thirds if you want to reduce the over all size of the bush. And they definitely say to “Follow the four D’s – remove any dead, dying, damaged or diseased stems”. A friend of mine had an English father, who grew beautiful roses and his advice always was “ Just Cut, Cut, Cut!” So sharpen up those pruning shears and get busy!

Rose Care Program

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

A Fishers Island Community Center Program

FishersIsland.net and the accompanying Fog Horn eNewsletter serve as the communications resource for the Fishers Island community. The content – news, calendar, links and photos, milestones, ads, and more create a clear image of Fishers to those on and off the island.

© 2023 – FishersIsland.net All Right Reserved.