Have you ever experienced déjà vu and wondered: was that true déjà vu or have I actually done the exact same thing at the same time last year? My rose pruning, is a ritualistic Rite of Spring. The ‘Rite of Spring’ is an actual ballet and orchestral concert work by Russian composer, Igor Stravinsky, that when first performed, at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on 29 May 1913, the avant-garde nature of the music and choreography caused a sensation and a near-riot in the audience. I understand, if the symphony is anything like the cacophony of nature during spring and the urge to prune our bushes. Rosarians, and most all gardeners live for spring. It’s that simple. We lift leaves to peek for new growth and basal breaks.
What Is A Basal Break?
A basal break is a new cane that sprouts from the bud union on grafted roses and from the ground on roses grown on their own root. The most exciting discovery for rose lovers are new basal breaks on their rose bushes. Fresh, renewed growth – the sign of a healthy plant– and a promise of new flowers to come makes our work exciting and worthwhile.Use the proper tools Corona_Principles_of_Pruning
How Can We Protect Basal Breaks?
Today let’s talk about pruning roses and some of the most finite processes that require delicate tools that let you feel like an artist or a surgeon.
Gardeners love to work with their hands. That’s why we love tools. Tools that allow us to do more finite work make us feel in touch with the force of nature.
Its All In The Tools
You can see by the demonstration in the pictures how the needlenose pruners, loppers and the small fork allow us to get close to delicate growth while protecting it. These are the tools that let you get close and protect delicate new growth. A picture of how these tools work is worth a thousand words.
Have they tools ready. God will find thee work. ~ Charles Kingsley
I would like to coin a new gardening phrase. Pruning post-traumatic stress disorder (PPTSD) I have it, it’s real, I suffer every President’s Day. It occurred from having pruned right after President’s Day in Texas, the supposed last day of the danger of a deadly killing frost. I relive the horror and the loss of 19 new rose bushes and having to re-prune 200 roses every President’s Day. The temperatures dipped to 8 degrees on March 10th well after the safe time to plant and prune. I lost all my new bushes and all the newly pruned bushes stimulated by my early pruning had to be pruned all over again. Well enough with my cheerful stories. This erroneous information was passed on to an unwitting northerner who grew up in the frozen tundra region on the frigid shores of Lake Michigan in Northern Illinois. Since today is President’s Day I thought I would cheer you all up and tell you again don’t prune too early.
Here is a primer on pruning your roses. It’s the best tips I’ve come up with over the years, as we get ready for the season of pruning.
Depending on the season and upon where you live pruning time can come between the middle of January and the end of April. The idea is to do it soon enough that you will not be cutting off too much new growth, and late enough that you will not promote premature growth. Usually this is just when the buds begin to swell, and then if you do not get a late frost the bushes will be off to a good start.
Pruned late, even after new growth starts, the canes are cut to a swollen dormant bud and the bush will do just fine, so it is probably better to prune late than too early. As I preach due to my disorder PPTSD, late-pruned bushes will bleed, but this has not been shown to be harmful to roses. Bleeding interferes with sealing cut ends but I stopped sealing smaller canes, with no increase in cane borer problems.
In addition to removing dead or diseased canes, there are several reasons for pruning. You want to remove non-productive branches and make room for ones that will make flowers. Remove crossing branches that clutter the bush or damage others. Open up the interior of the bush for ease in spraying and to promote good flowering stems. Remove non-productive canes at the base to promote growth of new vigorous canes. Finally, shape the bush to please you.
Before cutting out canes, you need to look at the branches they produced. If they have long, healthy, new branches, they should be left. If they have nothing but short twiggy non-blooming shoots, remove them. Sometimes there is not much left, but then perhaps the bush should be, as my mother used to say, “shovel pruned” and removed from the garden. We are told to reduce the number of canes to 3-5, but this is not necessarily a good guide.
Here are my tips:
Wear tough protective clothing such as denim with long sleeves. It won’t snag as easily as some other fabrics.
Wear thorn resistant gloves such as plastic coated garden gloves, or ones made of flexible leather.
Watch where you put your hands and forearms. Thorns can penetrate almost any fabric I’ve used in the garden. I’ve had thorns penetrate the soles of my shoes, be careful.
Invest in a small pruning or keyhole saw, they are essential for cutting larger canes and getting into tight spaces.
A fairly large cane can be cut with hand shears if the cane is bent gently away from the shears, but I prefer to use a good pair of loppers rather than wrestle with the cane.
Hold the shears so that the blunt blade is on the part to be cut off.
Cut to an outside bud on upright-growing bushes or to an inside bud on spreading type bush. Cut to a bud pointing in the direction you want the branch to grow, the top bud usually will produce the dominant shoot.
Cut to about ¼” of the bud, on a slight slant away from the bud. Cut shorter, the new shoot can break off in the wind, any longer causes unsightly dieback.
If you feel you should seal cuts, use Elmer’s glue, I usually just seal large canes.
Leave as many canes as are hardy and allow space to grow without crowding and are very well shaped.
Learn to grasp the cane gently and very carefully with a slight circular motion.
If you cut or accidentally knock off a branch you meant to leave don’t let it spoil your day. It will brow back.
Do not prune once-blooming roses until they have bloomed.
Prune miniature roses like hybrid teas and floribundas, if you have the time and patience.
Old Garden Roses (OGR) are too diverse in nature to lay down rules. If you know the variety its best to research online for the best pruning for your OGR. In general, the best rule for pruning OGRs for the first two or three years is, “Don’t.”
Roses are the ‘Diva’ of the flower world. Statistics say you want roses is your garden. One of the most often searched plant is the rose. Before you head out to garden centers to buy roses here’s an easy guide to what rose classifications mean. Here’s a few rose winners to look for. Rose bushes are a big investment. Decide what you want to achieve with roses before you buy.
An Easy To Love | Easy To Grow | Rose Garden
85% of folks say roses are their favorite flower. They want easy-to-grow roses. Rose breeders are listening to YOU! Each year there are better, minimal care roses available that you can have great success with. Here are some Weeks Roses, Meilland Roses, Kordes Roses, and Conard Pyle Star Roses that I’ve personally grown and can vouch for. Some roses I list below have won at the Biltmore Rose Trials. You can also see videos on my Gaga’s Garden Facebook page. They are included because of their disease resistance, ease of care, beauty and fragrance. I can vouch for their high degree of success in my Illinois and Texas gardens. A side note on one of my new favorite roses: World famous hybridizer, Christian Bédard told a highly reliable friend of mine that the hybrid tea ‘Pretty Lady Rose’ may be the best rose he’s ever bred. I can tell you its at the top of my list for true perfection.
Modern Rose Classifications
Hybrid Tea | Grandiflora Rose | America’s Favorite Flower
Hybrid tea roses are perfect for any rose garden.*
Hybrid tea roses are ideal for cut flowers and creating your own bouquets
A hybrid tea is easily identifiable by its large, shapely 30-50 petal blooms on long stems
Grandiflora roses bear clusters of full size roses, the 1st was ‘Queen Elizabeth’ in 1954
The Biltmore’s Rose Garden has been home to the International Rose Trials since 2011. 100’s of varieties from growers and breeders worldwide have been planted and cared for by Biltmore’s expert horticulturalists and Rosarian, Emily Tice Wilson.
Each trial lasts two years and a permanent jury judges the roses four times per year. During this year’s competition, Saturday, September 24th the international and permanent juries conducted the final round of judging for the trial group of roses planted in Biltmore’s Historic Rose Garden, just named an ‘Award of Excellence Garden’ Friday, September 23rd by the World Federation of Rose Societies.
“The Biltmore Rose Garden is the perfect setting for trials,” said Parker Andes Biltmore’s Horticulturist and trials manager. “We’ve enjoyed introducing these new varieties to our guests as they stroll through the gardens. It has been an educational experience, and it complements the work we do to care for Biltmore’s collection of old garden and modern roses.” Before entering their roses into trials and competition, breeders work on their creations for four or five years prior. Roses to be judged this year are from Canada, France, Ireland, Germany, the UK and the U.S. The trials are a valuable way for the home gardener to learn what roses do well and what may be potential candidates for their own gardens. Trials of this type are open to rose breeders around the world – from professional to beginner.
About The Biltmore Rose Trials
New rose varieties are planted for trial each May. They are evaluated for overall health and rigor; fragrance; disease resistance; and ability to repeat bloom. Guests visiting Biltmore’s gardens may view the roses currently on trial in borders in the Walled Garden and areas near the Rose Garden. Peak blooming time in Biltmore’s rose garden occurs typically in mid-May and September. Here are this year’s award winning roses and breeders.
Biltmore International Rose Trials 2016 Results
Type of Award: The Guilded Age Award for Best Climber
Winner: ‘Honeymoon™’ Arborose bred by Kordes Roses
Breeder: Newflora, LLC, For more about ‘Honeymoon’ click HERE
Type of Award: Lord Burleigh Award for Most Disease Resistant
Winner: ‘Honeymoon™’ Arborose bred by Kordes Roses
Breeder/Distributor: Newflora, LLC, For more about ‘Honeymoon™ Arborose’ click HERE
Type of Award: Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid Tea
Breeder/Distributor: Ping Lim Distributor/TBD Click HERE
Types of Awards: Edith Wharton Award for Best Floribunda
George & Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding Rose Of The Trials
William Cecil Award For Best Growth Habit Polar Express Sunbelt
Winner of all three above awards: ‘Polar Express Sunbelt’
“Education is the key to the heart of rosarians of the World Federation of Rose Societies. People from all over the world have on their bucket list to travel to every WFRS ‘Award of Excellence’ Rose Garden in the World. The Biltmore Rose Garden is a welcome, exciting addition to our world class rose gardens.” says Jolene Adams
Asheville, NC ~ The Biltmore Rose Garden, home of the world famous International Rose Trails, host to rose breeders and rosarians from Canada, the U.S., France, Ireland, Great Britain, and Germany was awarded the prestigious World Federation of Rose Societies (WFRS) ‘Award of Excellence’, Friday, September 24th in the Biltmore Estate Rose Garden. On hand to receive the award from Vice President of the World Federation of Rose Societies, Jolene Adams was Biltmore Horticulturalist, Parker Andes, and Biltmore Rosarian, Emily Tice Wilson as well as this year’s Biltmore International Rose Trial judges and sponsors of the event; Witherspoon Roses, Mr. & Mrs. David Pike, and Mills Mix Rose Fertilizer, Mr. & Mrs. John Beaty. The highly sought after and prestigious ‘Garden of Excellence’ Award was established to improve the public’s knowledge in all matters concerning the rose. ‘Award of Excellence’ Gardens world wide must meet the following requirements to qualify:
The WFRS ‘Award of Excellence’ recognizes the highest levels of arrangement in the field of rose garden development, maintenance and display.
Eligibility. A garden may be eligible for an award which has:
Demonstrated sustained performance in providing high quality displays of roses which are:
Beautiful and attractive and open to the public (and/or)
Educational, whereby the knowledge of the public and its interest in roses is enhanced (and/or)
Of assistance with the preservation of the genus (or)
Sustained performance in conducting international rose trials.
Private gardens will be considered, but the public must have unlimited access throughout the full flowering period.
Biltmore Rosarian, Emily Tice Wilson graciously accepted the award from Ms. Adams during the Friday evening at the reception of the Biltmore International Rose Trials that will be conducted Saturday, September 25th. All judges for the 2016 Biltmore Rose Trials were on hand for the unveiling of the ‘Award of Excellence’ to view its permanent home in the Biltmore Rose Garden. For More information to tour the estate and Biltmore Rose Garden garden visit. www.biltmore.com and more information about WFRS gardens visit www.worldrose.org
Editors, please note: Photos are available on request to the media contacts on this release.
Media Contact: Susan Fox at email@example.com
About The World Federation of Roses
The World Federation of Rose Societies is a federation of the national rose societies of 39 countries founded in 1968 representing rose lovers around the world. Their goal is to expand contact among them and increase the flow of knowledge about the rose.
The World Federation of Rose Societies (WFRS) was founded in 1968 in London, England by representatives from the rose societies of Australia, Belgium, Israel, New Zealand, Romania, South Africa, Great Britain and the USA. Its stated purpose was to hold international rose conferences and act as a clearing house for rose research.
To encourage and facilitate the interchange of information about and knowledge of the rose between national rose societies; To coordinate the holding of international conventions and exhibitions; To encourage, and where appropriate, sponsor research into problems concerning the rose; To establish common standards for judging rose seedlings; To assist in coordinating the registration of rose names; To establish a uniform system of rose classification; To encourage and advance international cooperation on all matters concerning the rose.