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Is it okey to cut down a rose shrub?

United States

My husband just cut down my rose shrub to the ground. Will that kill the plant? We live in Illinois around Chicago area.



It isn't usual to prune roses so hard, especially at this time of year (in the UK - it might be different in the USA?) Normal practice is to cut back a little in the autumn to avoid wind-rock, then to prune quite hard in the early spring.
You might be lucky and get new growth in the spring, but due to the ultra-hard prune now, the rose might send up suckers from below the grafting point. All you can do is to wait and hope!

23 Nov, 2008


he does not to do this now he has to prune the rose an little the older flowers the deadwood only this and after the winter a second cutting is welcome and this time do it short i hope than my english is right

23 Nov, 2008


I hope you love your husband a lot. :-) I agree with Spritz.

Adding to the wind-rock suggestion which you certainly have in Wind City, add breakage problems due to snow load. I too, do shorten such limbs in the fall and do my serious pruning in the spring.

My only addition applies to some of the more dwarf hedge type roses. Many people cut the "hips" off to tidy them up or for the reason they believe it weakens the plant. The seed pods have already had the plants investment and pruning them off doesn't really strengthen the plant. Leaving them ON however, signals to the plant that its done its duty and its time to rest. Cutting them off, often stimulates new growth (weakening the plant) and such growth will more than likely freeze off.

I also like to add some greensand or other potash fertilizer. This organic source contains about 3% potash but it also has up to 30 other trace minerals. Manganese being one. It is supposed to loosen heavy, clay soils. and improve Plant vigor. Reminds me to apply some to some grapvines I recently planted.

23 Nov, 2008


The only thing I would add to the above replies is to monitor new growth and the weather very carefully next spring. New growth (on any plant) is very susceptible to spring frosts so, if your rose is shooting and a cold spell is forecast, keep it covered overnight with fleece or failing that, an old blanket. Normally this would not be necessary as there would be buds lower down the stems that would shoot if the upper ones get frosted but you now do not have this 'insurance'. Good luck

23 Nov, 2008


Andrewr had a great follow-up. Something I didn't think of.
He is totally correct. Just yesterday we dropped into our first of a few cold nights 28.F.Not forecast!

I raced out and mulched the newly potted plants with leaves that I had fortuitously just scarfed up on the same day. That is another story. One half ton of cherry leaves, already raked, bagged and I just plopped them right into my truck. I dare anyone to post a better autumn haul than that. If records be kept this was 17 super sized bags.

There should be a blog of best free things I obtained for my garden. Or in this case my own --Self annointed Blowhard King of Leaves.

Back to the post. It does not really apply but it is interesting. I worked for a very wise woman who used to garden in N.Y. On some of her dwarf and more marginal plants she put them in low points, natural troughs in her garden. When the temperatures grew serious and permanent, say 20. F. She filled those areas with water and gave them a six inch ice cover. This also kept them winter protected and somewhat dry.

I have never done this, but knowing her background. She was one wicked gardener. This will not work on shrubs or trees, but might on perennials not quite hardy to your climate zone.
Give it an experiment and get back to me.

Her name was Bita!

24 Nov, 2008


as our friend spritzhenry,says depends on your climate , ive cut back mine to a grafting point about 6 -10inches from the base. should come back next year good luck.

24 Nov, 2008

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