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It is getting warmer and bud break for the roses is soon to come.
I will talk about a few general rules and then go into specifics about some of the more common roses.
Remember to start pruning a shade after Valentine Day here in the North Texas area.
The canes you finish with should be about as big around as you index finger
Make your cuts at about a 45% angle about ¼ inch above a node
A node is the new bud you see on the side of the stem (where growth will start)
Always prune above an outward facing node (should not be facing toward the center of the bush)
Star with getting rid of weak or dead canes.
Next get rid of canes that cross or touch each other.
Now stand back and look at the bush to see what you want to keep in order to achieve the shape you want.
When making cuts look into the center of the stems at the pith. Ensure it is whit instead of brown. White = good, brown=bad cut back to where you see the good.
Dead head as the roses die all year. By cutting off the dead flowers you entice the plant to work on making new roses instead of seeds.
Clean up all of the canes you cut out as they can carry disease.
The rest of this article tells about some of the specifics of pruning by the type of rose Hybrid Tea Roses (the type they sell at the florist and we think of when you say rose)Decide whether you want a relatively few long stem large roses or more but smaller roses. If you want the fewer but larger leave 3 to 4 (at the most) canes and trim them to about 8-12 inches in length following the general guidelines above.
If you want the more but smaller, then cut the canes to 18-24 inches in length and leave five or more canes. Of course follow the general rules.
If you are doing climbing roses what I have to tell you will exponentially increase the number of both stems and resulting flowers.
Of course follow the general rules but add this: take as many canes as you can and tie them to your trellis horizontally. The result is that every node on that stem will then send a shoot up and this will increase the number of stems as well and the number of roses. So bend those stems as far horizontally as you can (without breaking them) and tie them down for a beautiful show this spring. This also covers any leaf loss in the lower branches. Do not cut a climber short. Leave it tall on the trellis. Of course dead head as the roses die.
Follow all of the general rules and leave about 18-24 inches and about 4-6 canes