Throughout history no other plant has had such wide appeal and been the centre of so much attention than the Rose. Be it shrub, climber, miniature, floribunda, grandiflora, bouquet, hybrid they are without a doubt the flower that inspires the most passion. Their array of colour, scent and shape seems infinite. Roses were in the gardens of ancient Greece, Persia and China. They have been in the gardens of mankind for over 5000 years and continue to be one of the most loved of all garden plants. Due to our fascination with this flower, there are now thousands of different garden roses bred from the two hundred or so wild species roses. All roses belong to the plant genus Rosa, but the individual lineage of many of today's roses is clouded in mystery because of the passage of time and the secrecy of past plant breeders.
There are three times a year that roses are pruned. Each pruning has a specific purpose and is important to good rose bush development. The most important and severe pruning occurs in early spring. First remove all dead, then remove the canes that are growing into the centre of the plant. It is important to let air into the centre of the bush. Shrub roses and climbers do not need to be severely pruned as they bloom on last years growth. Just remove any dead or diseased canes, and shape.
Summer pruning is used to enhance flowers and flower production. To produce florist quality blooms, remove or dis-bud any secondary flower buds that may form just below the main flower. Once blooms begin to fade it is time for another form of summer pruning. Flowers are produced on secondary canes of roses. By removing spent blooms or flowers at the point of the first outward facing 5 leaflet leaf you will encourage the formation of these secondary canes.
Late fall pruning consists of tidying up the bush for the onslaught of winter. Once the cold has set in late November and all the leaves are dead on the bush, prune the rose to 24". By doing so, the plant will be able to withstand any wind or ice damage that may occur over the winter.
Rose Pests and Disease
Four common rose pests and disease are black spot, powdery mildew, aphids and thrips. For black spot, powdery mildew and aphids, dust or spray with a fungicide every 7-10 days. For thrips, spray roses with systemic insecticide.