Pruning Roses

he8833June 3, 2012

So hopefully the enclosed picture works. I know the common wisdom is to cut just above the "5 leaf". On the picture I have attached the blooms are over and now have "rose hips".

What if I cut right below the rose hips vs. further down just above the the 5 leaf?

I thought I had read only roses bushes require to be cut above the 5 leaf?

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BTW the rose picture is a purple pavement.

And to clarify the above comment....Do only certain roses need to be cut just above the 5 leaf?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 8:16PM
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rosetom(7 Atl)

I'm not sure what you're asking, especially since that big leaf is a 7-leaflet leaf. Whatever it is, bottom line - sometimes a stem doesn't make any 5-leaflet leaves near the bud. Sometimes they're only 3's or 2's. If it's a new or weak rose, there's no reason to go overboard in trying the find a 5-leaflet leaf. Simply cut down to the next leaf junction. You should probably just be doing that anyway with a new rose.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 9:29PM
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rosetom(7 Atl)

BTW, in case your question was about 7 vs. 5, a 7-leaflet leaf certainly qualifies - even more so.;-)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 9:30PM
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Sorry about the confusion. Yes in the picture its a 7 leaf. Directly above or in this case to the left of the leaflet (near the verticle thorn) is where I would cut to encourage new blooms correct?

Also what would happen if I cut right below the "rose hips" vs further down near the 7 leaf.

The rose bush is a purple pavement and really puts out blooms all summer. I just want to make sure I'm deadheading correctly.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 10:07PM
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rosetom(7 Atl)

Yes, between the vertical thorn and the leaf junction is where you should cut - maybe a bit closer to the leaf junction.

In my experience, a stronger, (even quicker) new shoot will occur if you get the cut just above a leaf junction. Cutting the blooms/hips just underneath will hinder growth - at least until the stem figures out that part is not going anywhere and it dies off.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 10:15PM
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What if you have several 7 leaflets. Do you cut at the junction closest to where the spent flowers were........or go down the main branch and cut at the 2nd or 3rd 7 leaflet

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:45AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Your last question -- WHERE you cut would depend upon the age and maturity of the rose PLANT, and what you are trying to accomplish.

IF you want to grow roses on long, strong stems for exhibition, you would cut fairly far down the cane, to wood of some sturdy size. The idea is that (generally) the new flower stem will be slightly less in diameter than the wood it grew from.

I would NOT deadhead that way if the plant in question is immature. I would probably not do it with the sort of rose you are showing us.

IF, otoh, you want to encourage your plant to grow larger and stronger, OR if you want to produce a garden plant with masses of bloom, you would remove far less of the cane. In some cases, you would just snap off the faded bloom with your fingers. This is particularly recommended if the plant is immature, or you want it to get bigger.

Since we no longer exhibit roses, we generally remove little from the plant. And with our less-mature roses, we deadhead the way my grandmother taught me: snapping off faded blooms with our fingers.

Jeri in Coastal Ventura Co., SoCal

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 12:15PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Implicit in the above comments is that the 5-leaflet thing is an old wives' tale that most experienced gardeners ignore. It works OK on hybrid tea roses, which tend to produce a 5 on the second leaf down. On other roses it is totally inapplicable.

I don't follow that rule for any rose. If I want the plant to get bigger, I just remove the spent bloom or hips. If the plant is getting too big, I take 1-2 feet of stem, cutting above any old leaf that happens to be there.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 3:19PM
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seil zone 6b MI

There is no hard and fast rule on pruning. Some people just snap off the spent blooms right below the hip. I do this a lot of the time. Others will prune to above a 5 leaf joint. As Jeri said, you can do this at the first 5 (or 7) leaf joint or, as I do sometimes for exhibiting purposes, go further down the cane. It's also perfectly fine to prune any rose much deeper while dead heading to maintain a good shape or size as well. And you don't HAVE to dead head at all. I've seen a lot of roses that haven't been dead headed in years and they're still growing and blooming like gangbusters. In any case, whether you prune high or deep or not at all, you can only lay some ground work and suggest where the rose will grow. But the rose, not you, will decide when and where it will grow from next, lol!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 4:00PM
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