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Variety Selection

(July 2005)

QuestionThere is a rose bush in my front yard beneath the window that was here when we moved into this house in 1971. It blooms beautiful pink flowers. I have never pruned it because I don't know when to because it blooms pretty roses summer & winter. It is growing out of control now and we need to cut it back and shape it. What kind of rose bush would this be and when should I prune it.

AnswerThere are so many rose bushes, I cannot tell you what variety it is simply by being pink. However, if it blooms all season long and is a bush, pruning should be done in late February. Climbing roses we allow to bloom with a first flush of flowers, but hybrid tea rose bushes are pruned back 8-18 inches from the ground every year. Old-fashioned shrub roses can simply be sheared as needed—treated more like a shrub than a hybrid tea rose. If it blooms all season, that means it is setting flower buds on the current seasons growth. Pruning it now will delay more immediate blooms, but may be acceptable to you if it is really out of control. You might simply get it to a more manageable size now, and do your heavy pruning next February. If you want to try and get it identified, you may want to take some roses to a Rose Society Meeting, or email digital images to a rosarian.

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