how to & do i have to deadhead cluster roses?

dcrosby(5MA)July 7, 2009

I have a lovely rose shrub that flowers wiith the prettiest pink itty bitty flowers. I think/know I should deadhead them to keep the shrub producing. Problem is that I can't reach the itty bitty dead ones, even with the smallest of clippers, without getting the new or soon to be born flowers.

To deadhead or not to deadhead...



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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Wait until the cluster is nearly finished and then take the whole thing with one cut. For the sake of future production, you just need to deadhead before a lot of noticeable hips develop.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 5:08PM
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greenhaven(SW MI z6)

Is it The Fairy? If so, I know how you feel. I was trying to clean a few up at the golf course prior to a major event, and it really is near impossible to snip only the spent ones.

That said, I concur with michaelg. Wait until the cluster is done and take the whole thing.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 5:34PM
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1-yes, you should, to stimulate rebloom and to give the plant a nicer look.

2-how: easyly. When the whole cluster has ended blooming, just cut the whole cluster.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 6:03PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

If your plant is young, cut the cluster off just below the dead flowers, and let the plant decide where it wants to grow from.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 8:07PM
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I have a Pink Pet near my front curb. It also blooms in sprays of little blooms. Since it's so public, I try to keep it looking neat, but I have the same problem you have.

Here's my solution - as the blooms get kind of worn looking, I pull the petals off with my fingers (they pretty much fall off by that time). Then I clip off the cluster when the whole thing finishes blooming. It's been working for me. Since the bush is near where I park my car, I do the part with my hand as I walk by. It looks neat most of the time.

Maybe it's not the right way to do it, but it works for me.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 8:18PM
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How you deadhead clusters depends on the size of your rose and whether you want it larger or restricted in size. If the plant is still young and establishing itself, then I grab the cluster in one hand and cut through the upper part of the cluster with the other. This at least removes spent bloom and prevents the formation of hips. The rose then decides where it will produce new growth. Most cluster-flowered roses will produce new flowering wood from both below and within the inflorescence. Next pruning season, I can select where to prune.

You wouldn't want to do this for exhibition roses, obviously, but for garden roses, it works fine with the vast majority of cultivars. There are the odd growers here and there that go haywire no matter how you deadhead them.

If your rose is over-sized, then use deadheading as an opportunity to reduce its size by pruning to the next budeye below the cluster.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 1:55AM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)


To answer your email, hips are fruits that sometimes form at the base of spent flowers.

Berndoodle's advice is just right.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 10:18AM
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