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Leggy shrub roses: pruning to make them fuller

Posted by linnea56 z5 IL (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 30, 13 at 21:48

These are 3 years old. They have never been very full. Each has about 6 very long, 4 foot tall + canes, with little branching. They are on the east side of the house, and therefore only get sun til 1 pm. It was probably a bad place to put them….

Two are Knockouts, Sunny something. The other is unnamed, a peach colored one that is somewhat doubled, might be (from what I recall) a floribunda. I liked the color, so bought it even though the tag was gone. It was the nursery guy who thought it was a floribunda. That one blooms much better than the Knockouts.

Nor have they bloomed much. A brief flush in the spring, and that’s it. If I prune them, am I sacrificing what little bloom there is? I would at least like them to serve as a nicer backdrop for the garden.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Leggy shrub roses: pruning to make them fuller

Half-day sun is adequate. If they are blooming so little, there may be something wrong with the soil drainage or chemistry, or they need more water and fertilizer.

Pruning by 1/3 would probably encourage more bushiness. However, if they are leafing out, pruning now would postpone the spring flush of bloom by a month or so. Normal pruning is done around the time the plants start into growth, or in this case you can prune after the first flush of bloom.

RE: Leggy shrub roses: pruning to make them fuller

Thanks! They have leaf buds, but they are not open yet. The floribunda is ahead of the knockouts, that has some open leaves.

So pruning should be done as soon as they show some growth? Looks like I might be a week or two behind. I might prune just half....

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