By Phran Novelli
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Prune your shrub roses already! Shrub roses, like the prolific Knock-Out® varieties, are very easy going. Even if you do nothing, they’ll usually bloom. And, while a spring cut back is smart, you don’t need to snip branch by branch, worrying about which way the buds are facing. I just take my hedge clippers and whack mine down to about knee high.
I used to keep quiet about this method, lest I upset serious rose growers who prune in an exacting way. Then I found out there’s a video online from the developers of Knock-Out® roses, with their expert doing exactly the same thing – using sharp hedge shears to prune his shrub roses in seconds. He brings a beer for courage, I often sip a cider, you can have iced tea or a bottle of water at hand – the beverage doesn’t matter. Just don’t dawdle; the forsythia has bloomed, and that was your cue to prune roses as they’re starting to leaf out – but everything’s late this year so just do it now!
Link to the three-minute how-to video at StarRosesAndPlants.com and you’ll see that you can prune your roses in less time than it takes to watch it.