TEXAS AGRILIFE EXTENSION SERVICE
BEXAR COUNTY BY DAVID RODRIGUEZ
February 13, 2010
Climbing roses should be trained but not pruned. Weave long canes through openings in trellises or arbors and tie them with jute twine or plastic/wire plant ties. Securing canes now will prevent damage from winter winds, and will contribute towards a more refined look to the garden when roses are blooming. Wait after the spring flowering period to prune climbing or once-blooming shrub roses.
Prune modern hybrids and bush roses during February or early March. Use good shears that will make clean cuts. Remove dead, dying, and weak canes. Leave 4 to 8 healthy canes, and remove approximately one-half of the top growth and height of the plant.
When pruning shrubs, first prune out any dead or damaged branches; then thin out by removing about one-third of the canes or stems at ground level. Removing only the oldest canes; and lastly, shape the rest of the plant, but do not cut everything back to the same height.
When buying plants, the biggest is not always the best, especially when dealing with bare-root plants. The medium to small sizes (4 to 6 feet) are usually faster to become established and more effective in the landscape than the large sizes.
David Rodriguez is the County Extension Agent-Horticulture with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Bexar County. For more information, call the Master Gardener “Hotline” (210) 467-6575 or visit our County Extension website at https://bexar-tx.tamu.edu.