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When to Trim Back Roses in Oregon?

red rose bush image by green308 from

All roses need pruning. Trimming roses helps them produce new wood, which spurs them to grow larger and more flowers. You initially prune roses in the spring, after the last frost, in Oregon. Then you can prune roses a number of times during the growing season. An important factor in deciding when to initially prune is knowing your USDA hardiness zone, which will give you an idea of when the date of the last frost will likely occur in your region.

When to Prune

The best time to initially prune roses for the summer season in Oregon is when the weather begins to warm up, according to the Oregon State University website. This usually occurs in late April or May. Trimming in early spring, when the danger of frost is gone, prevents the cold from injuring the rosebush. You also can prune after the roses bloom to encourage more blossoms throughout the growing season.

Why Prune

A rose garden adds beauty and often fragrance to a landscape. Trimming the plants encourages the rose garden to continue to look good. If roses aren’t pruned yearly, the plants can decline and die. The appearance of the plants improves after pruning, as does the ability to ward off disease and insects. After pruning, roses will usually rebloom with bigger and more buds.

What You Need to Prune

To prune in the rose garden, invest in a pair of good gardening gloves, a sharp, hand-pruning shear and a long pruning shear. Wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt so the thorns don’t pierce your skin. A hat protects you from the sun.

How to Prune

If you are pruning initially in the spring, cut off the dead wood and the thin branches from the rosebush. Get rid of stems that are growing inward toward the center. On old rosebushes, cut off a couple of the oldest and biggest canes each year. Generally, when you prune for the first time in the season, you can cut your roses back to a height of 10 to 18 inches, depending on the type of rose and your preference. Remove all leaves as well. For repeat trimming during the season, remove the old rose blossoms and cut the stem back to just above the second five-leaf section.

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