When should I trim my rose bushes (and how much)?

Asked March 16, 2013, 7:55 PM EDT

Our rose bushes haven't been trimmed in a while, and have a little critter that likes to lay eggs in them (I can't remember the name). When should we trim them, and how much?

Here are some pictures: https://picasaweb.google.com/106445675519666878024/2013Mar16RoseBushes?authkey=Gv1sRgCIe__IzwxbvasQE&feat=email

Thanks so much!
Chris Shearer Cooper

Boulder County Colorado

1 Response

The big problem to wait until the last really hard freezes are past. They might freeze the most developed buds at the tips of the canes and cutting stimulates new growth. Now might be fine because it takes a while for the small buds lower on the cane to develop to a dangerous degree. On hybrid teas I choose to leave a slightly longer cane (like 8"to 10") so I won't lose the whole cane in a late freeze. Shrub roses are easier: just prune out dead and damaged wood and shape. Because all roses break buds first at the tip of the canes, you know those buds are vulnerable. I't a gamble.