Pruning in Ca. For Oct - December Bloom

martinca_gwJuly 22, 2014

Our O.C. Garden editor suggested this a fews years ago, so I tried it on one or two and did have blooms up to Dec. I chose a shrub that had stopped blooming, for the most part, and was looking somewhat mediocre. This was in late July. I'd like to try it again, and wonder if anyone else will go this route. Also wonder of this would be healthy for my new ones. It's hard to cut back roses that have a bud or two, but if the shrub isn't looking it's best, and will come back by early October, dressed in fresh green leaves, and blooming almost as if it thinks it's spring again, it's well worth the loss of a few more summer blooms.
Your thoughts and input, please.
Pic is Color Magic: a great rosy red Christmas rose!.( just joey next door)
P.s. Also wonder if removing leaves as I do in January pruning, is a safe practice in July- August.

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Leaves are usually removed in Jan (I assume you are in a warm climate zone) to encourage dormancy, and get rid of last year's old worn out leaves. That is not the case in July, and I would never pull off all of the leaves on a bush then, unless they were infested with rust.

Deadheading, and some gentle shaping is all I would do in the summer - my re-blooming roses will bloom again in about 6 weeks after that. No need to hard prune or take off all of the leaves. I think mostly the deadheading helps the bush bloom again, because otherwise it might put a lot of energy into forming hips.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 3:22PM
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desertgarden561- Las Vegas Z9a

I'm not in CA., but in mid August, we remove about 1/3 of the top growth from mature modern roses and clean out crossing or dead canes. So cleaning up and giving a haircut versus the pruning that is done in January. We also give the bushes a good dose of organics, as needed, per our individual soils. This is done to tidy up and feed the bushes for a great Fall- early Winter show.


This post was edited by desertgarden561 on Tue, Jul 22, 14 at 16:31

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 4:16PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I simply take off more every time I deadhead and shape lightly at the same time. It slows repeat down a bit, but provides a better looking garden over our 365-day growing season. Keeping the plants smaller places the flowers closer together and provides a better landscape display.

This is for established roses. New plants get only the abscission layer snap.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 6:49PM
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Thanks all for your replies. I'll probably do hoovb's way. Hoovb, it was Cindy McNatt , in The Register garden section several years back, who wrote about this method.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 2:14AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

She just took a retirement buy-out from the Register. They cut back the newsroom hard just recently. The new owner tried to expand and it didn't work so now he's downsizing again.

My Mom & Dad's neighbors used to hard prune their HTs at the beginning of every August and then leave for their yearly visit to family back in Iowa for seven weeks. When they got back in mid-September their roses were ready to burst into bloom again. Then they'd do a lighter prune again at the end of January. They had the same plants for like 50 years, so it obviously didn't hurt the roses.

I used to let my roses get really tall, but by October the garden looked like cr@p with canes flopping over and stayed that way until January pruning time. I started with the harder dead-heading and the gardens stays nice all of fall and for the start of winter. I've got a neighbor with a massive number of 'Icebergs' and he rounds them off with hedge clippers after every round of bloom and his garden looks great even without blooms on the Icebergs.

I tried an August pruning thing, but it's too hot here in August to be out pruning 200 roses.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 2:45AM
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seil zone 6b MI

Since my season is not even half of yours I don't know a thing about trying to get them to bloom in December. However, I do know that the leaves are important for so many reasons and would never suggest pulling them all off in mid summer. In your hot climate they play a very important role in protecting the canes from sunburn besides providing food and moisture to the plant. Pruning, yes. Leaf pulling, no.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 7:46PM
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I agree with Seil -- Except in the case of wide-spread disease, I would not practice general defoliation of roses in the summer.

Here at the coast, (Borderline Z 23/24) we are THEORETICALLY cool enough to prevent cane burn -- but the coastal temperatures are going higher and higher.

The canes need the shade of their leaves.

I DO notice and remove leaves on Hybrid Perpetuals which are beginning to rust. But new foliage is never touched.

And I would be FAR more restrained with any of your roses which are first-year plants.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 9:21PM
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jasminerose4u, California(9b)

If the plants are mature, the Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society in Southern California, recommends pruning 1/3 of the canes around labor day (September 1st this year) for nice blooms by October. My roses are too new to try that this year, but I'll keep it in mind for the future.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 12:17AM
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