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hybrid musk, long term mainenance

Posted by sammy OK/7A (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 26, 11 at 8:32

My question is about Penelope and Bubble Bath even though it is about all of this category.

I live outside of Tulsa in zone 7A. Even though we can have harsh winters, our worst weather condition is a killing frost after the roses have grown -- even to buds or small blooms. Therefore, I do not have much to lose by pruning now, and cleaning up all the wood so that later I can work on the soil and mulch.

I have had 5 Penelope roses since 1999. Since they were blooming profusely, and looked good, I only trimmed the branches and let them go. When I noticed that the lower branches were rather weak looking, I just fertilized, and went on to my other roses. The branches in my view looked good. Then the roses began to deteriorate.

I now know that I need to do major cutting on the rose at certain intervals to stimulate new growth so the rose will not die. I think I need to take off about 1/3 of the rose at a time.

Do you do this every year after about 4 or 5 years? Do you cut to the roots (own roots) or do you cut through some roots? I ususally begin pruning about this time of the year. I will always lose some of the top growth, but with so many roses, it saves time to get them to about 5 or 6 feet, then make final cuts when the new growth begins.

I am down to 3 Penelopes and Bubble Bath. Bubble Bath arches beautifully, and I really hate to cut it back. If I do not, will it tend to drag to the ground or split in the center? Bubble Bath is about 4 years old. Often there is no decision on pruning because the winter is harsh enough to destroy some ends of canes.

I would appreciate any suggestions to the long term mainenance of these roses, and of others that would perform like the hybrid musks. I intend to start another thread at some point about chinas, teas, and bourbons.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: hybrid musk, long term mainenance

I grow Bubble Bath, and prune it to keep the blooms off the ground. I remove the spindly growth at the base of the plant. I get some dieback each winter, and prune to shape it. Pruning it back on the sides somewhat seems to encourage it to send up new canes in the center of the plant, so it looks full in the center.

I grow a few other Hybrid Musks, and also remove the spindly growth at the base of the plant.

RE: hybrid musk, long term mainenance

Thanks, Krista. I have been following the tea thread where there is an older link that helped to remind me what to do. I hate to cut a plant to the base when it has been healthy, but I think that needs to be done at times to keep the plant healthy.

I really want to keep the canes coming up from the center.


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