Hello again gardening friends.

It’s that time of year. Time to prune your roses.

Whether the rose plants are bush, ground cover or climbing, they all benefit from winter pruning.

I have mentioned in my other articles to wait near the end of January before pruning. Folks get in to too much of a rush and want to prune early.

If you prune too early there’s a risk the plants will be affected by the cold and damage the growth nodes on the canes.

Again, when winter pruning take your time. There is no need to rush. Stand back and study the structure of your plants.

I like to initially remove two-thirds of overgrown top growth. This will allow you to see skeletal cane growth.

Begin by removing any diseased, dead and crossing canes. Study your plant once again and remove any older canes. The canes will show a lighter color that looks almost white. These canes are usually thicker in girth and heavier with thorns.

The finished product should consist of three to five healthy canes and prune at equal heights.

Also, all leaves need to be removed.

This is also a good time to remove any excess soil, from around the crown. Create and re-established a new water basin. Place a good layer, consisting of compost and worm castings. Do not add any fertilizer at this time. We want the plant, to remain in dormancy.

Finally, I like to spray the plants, with a horticultural oil. This will wipe out any fungus and soft tissue insects.

If anyone out there needs help with their pruning, I am here to help.

Mark Koehler

Mark Koehler of Los Banos is an arborist and master gardener, who has degrees in Landscape Architecture and Landscape Horticulture from UC Berkeley and Northeastern University.