Pruning Climbers, Shrubs, Old Garden Miniatures
Most climbers bloom on old wood. The older cultivars, especially, tend to produce one long flowering season and devote the rest of the summer to producing hips as the first stage of shutting down for the winter. Hybridizers have worked to extend the flowering season so most of the newer cultivars are remontant–that is, they flower from spring to frost. In early spring, while the plants are breaking dormancy, any dead or damaged canes as well as those that are too long or deformed can be removed to the crown. Remontant climbers may be treated as any other rose bush and pruned accordingly throughout the growing season. One-time bloomers should be pruned after the plants’ flowering is completed so no flower buds are accidently removed.
Shrubs and Old Garden Roses
In early spring, remove weak, damaged, diseased or dead wood as for other types of roses. Heavy pruning should be performed either in very early spring or after flowering. Prune lightly only to shape the plant or control its size since their ebullient spread is part of their charm. Many of these roses produce long pliant canes which may be arched and then pegged to the ground. This method gives the roses a bushier appearance and will result in more basal canes so the plant will be replenished constantly. Another advantage is the increase of lateral growth from the pegged cane which will increase flower production. The pegged canes often take root and form new plants where they are fixed to the ground. These may be cut from the parent cane and either left in place or transplanted to a new location. Voila! New free rose bushes!
Almost every class of the larger roses is matched by a miniature of the same growth habit. In Europe, most miniatures are budded onto a different rootstock but, in the United States, they grow on their own roots. There are hybrid tea forms, floribundas, climbers and even miniatures with the quartering characteristic of heirloom roses. The rules for pruning these diverse shapes are usually the same as those for the corresponding large rose. They, too, need their centers opened up, their excess buds disbudded and maverick canes removed. Spring pruning is identical to that of the large roses. Since they grow on their own roots, what you see is what you get so whatever pierces the topsoil is the rose listed on the plant tag. After the killing frost, as much as the upper third of the rose may be pruned before winter covering is added.