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Rose care #372280 - Ask Extension

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Rose care #372280

Asked October 23, 2016, 6:38 PM EDT

Hi there, we moved into a house with a type of rose we cannot identify. They are pretty tall and scraggly. Can you help us identify them and also give us tips on what to do this fall for the winter? I would like to trim them down quite a bit to help them bloom next year but wasn't sure what we need to do to protect them for the winter.

Hennepin County Minnesota

Expert Response

Thank you for the question.  I can't tell from the photos exactly what type of rose you have but a good guess is that they are shrub roses.  Shrub roses bloom off and on all season and survive in our landscapes without much care.  Please go to this publication http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/flowers/roses-for-the-north/ and click on the "floral traits" option to the right and see if you can figure out if this is what you have for sure. Unfortunately, the entire publication isn't available and I wasn't able to locate it anywhere.

We don't advise any pruning be done this fall except for removing dead, damaged, or diseased wood.  Water the shrubs well until the soil freezes and mulch around the base with chopped leaves or something suitable.  Clean up any fallen leaves and branches to limit the chance of spreading any diseases.  In the spring when you see bud break, prune to remove old canes and those killed by the winter.  Select several strong new canes to replace the old ones you removed and cut these back leaving 3-5 good buds on the cane.  Cut at an outward 45 degree angle to promote growth out, instead of in toward the center of the rose.  The goal of pruning is to increase air circulation inside the shrub; keep it from becoming a tangled mess and encourage the new growth of flowering wood.  
Read more about pruning the various types of roses here:  
You may enjoy learning more at the Minnesota Rose Society website:  http://minnesotarosesociety.org/

Thank you for contacting Extension.
Anita Hoaglund Replied October 26, 2016, 12:36 PM EDT

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