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New to Rose Gardening!

Tahler D
December 6, 2018
last modified: December 6, 2018

Hello!! My fiance and I just purchased a house and with it came 6 or 7 rose bushes! They seem like they have been planted for quite a while and I want to make sure I take good care of them but I have no idea where to start!! A few look pretty healthy, a few are quite small and one looks more like a tree!!

Do I need to prune them? If so, HOW!?

Thanks in advance!!

Comments (11)

  • diane_nj 6b/7a

    Where are you located? Can you post photos?

  • seil zone 6b MI

    Yes, please, a location and photos would be needed before we can offer any advise.

  • Tahler D
    I am in Granbury, TX 76048
  • flowersaremusic z5 Inland NW

    Lucky you for getting a mature rose garden along with a beautiful new home. Bless you for wanting to keep the roses and nurture them to good health. Every rose gardener's nightmare is that the next owners will indiscriminately rip them all out and plant junipers. You will be rewarded in the spring with a beautiful view from those windows when they are in bloom.

    My gardening zone is too different from yours to offer advice. Just wishes for success with these and may you fall in love with roses.

  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw

    What a cool house . I love the big windows. What a great view you will have when your roses are bloom.

    In my zone 8a we prune in Feb.

    There are some really great YouTube videos on pruning. Also Heirloom and Jackson and Perkins have tutorials.

    Welcome to the forum. You will find friends and encourement and great advice.

    Welcome to the world of roses.

  • dianela7bal


    Your new house looks great. Your gardening hardiness zone is around 7b to 8a. I live in 7b and prune some time early March depending on the weather.

    Right now is probably getting too cool and pruning could trigger new growth that will just get damaged. You could however get some aged cow manure (bought in a bag at a garden store) and spread some around the base of your roses. The cow manure will very slowly nourish your roses. I have learned this from Diane here in the forum and she grows the most amazing roses you could imagine.

    In your case I would wait until after Valentine’s Day or early March, then prune those beautiful rose bushes back by half or so depending on your taste. Then I would add some balanced rose fertilizer to the area around the base of your roses for a nice spring flush. I don’t know what kind of roses they are so depending on type and disease resistance you will need to decide if you will have to spray or not.

  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA

    Tahler D,

    You have a beautiful home, and an unique garden layout with your to-the-ground designer windows.

    My advice to you is to do no pruning at all this year. Wait until pruning time for the 2020 growing season. Annual pruning in your zone is usually done in the very early months of the new calendar year, before fresh, new growth begins for that year, for continuous blooming roses, not once blooming roses.

    The reason for me advising you to wait is that you do not know what kind of roses you have there. There are many kinds, or classes of roses. There are beautiful old garden roses that bloom only once in the spring. They bloom on growth made last year. If you prune them soon, before spring growth commences, you will be pruning growth made last year that would send forth blooms this spring. You will essentially be greatly diminishing or completely eliminating their one and only spring bloom output for 2019.

    Many people (as the previous property owners may have done), grow old garden roses. Quite a few of these types of roses are one time, spring bloomers, no repeat blooming until next spring. These old garden roses, also called antique roses, because of their ease of care, and nostalgic beauty, along with outstanding fragrance, are often a homeowner's choice who want exceptional traits with ease of care.

    Fertilize and mulch all your roses in late winter before growth begins. Then when they bloom this spring you can determine what type, class of rose they are, and proceed accordingly with their care. You may not like some of them and replace them. Some may have reverted to a rootstock if they were grafted roses. These may need to be replaced with roses of your own preferences.

    Most modern roses (non-old garden roses, which are also called antique roses as stated earlier), accept pruning at any time of the year when they are actively growing since they are continual bloomers, except right before fall. Then, at the growing season 's end, they are left to rest over winter, un-pruned until the pre-spring growth pruning.


    Tahler D thanked Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA
  • dianela7bal

    Agree with Moses,

    I don’t grow any once bloomers that are large enough to need pruning and overlooked the possibility. Some of them do seem to have blooms on these pictures tho which makes me think they are not once bloomers. Moses advice would certainly be the safest way to handle them.

    Tahler D thanked dianela7bal
  • nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

    I agree with Moses to wait a season to determine what the roses are before you do any shaping pruning. The only thing I'd add to that advice is that you can cut out obviously dead wood at any time, and I'd wait to do that till this coming spring by preference. The first picture shows some light brown wood that to my eye looks dead. By waiting till spring, you can see which canes do not leaf out and prune back the dead branches a little into the live branches to get rid of the unsightly ends. After that, watch for blooms then post them here and we'll try to help you figure out what kinds of roses you have.

    Welcome to the highly addictive and fun world of growing roses! Good to have you join us.


  • BenT (8a Dallas, TX)

    Hello Tahler

    Welcome to the forum , congrats on the beautifully distinctive new house and rose garden.

    I’m nearby in North Dallas. There’s really nothing to be done right now. We prune around the week of Valentine’s Day, cutting the roses back to 18-24” to rejuvenate them to bloom, followed by fertilization in early March. I’d continue to fertilize them every month or so until mid-Sept.

  • jazzmom516

    Welcome to the world of roses. Get info from your local cooperative extensio. Click on the County link & request any fact/info sheets on taking care of roses. Also add your Hardiness zone to your name so people in your area can answer correctly. Here are some helpful links: https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkindroses/

    Bottom of this page is a ‘Find your County Office’ Contact them for more info. https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/browse/featured-solutions/gardening-landscaping/

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