Four years ago my fabulous 40-year-old roses succumbed to rose rosette virus, and I dug them up and destroyed them. I would like to replant roses in the same bed, but wonder if you have an opinion about the success of this. If that is prudent, could I do the planting this month? I live in Harford County. I have another rose elsewhere that has grown lopsided over the summer. Is it all right to prune it now, or better to wait until early spring?
Harford County Maryland
You need to be sure that all rose roots have been removed before planting roses in the same spot where a rose has had rose rosette. People generally plant roses in the early spring to give them a chance to establish before winter. If we have a very mild winter, planting in the fall would be ok. The best time to prune is in the early spring. If a rose has grown so that it scratches people when they walk on a sidewalk or if it might blow wildly in the winter wind, it could be pruned now. Otherwise it would probably be best to prune in early spring.