Don’t Skip Pruning Those January Blooming Roses
It’s the end of January and some of my roses are still blooming! I’m not the only one, many of the roses in the neighborhood are blooming and my neighbors have lots of questions about when to prune their roses when they won’t stop blooming!
Dormancy for Roses in Southern California
When we have temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s off and on through December and January as we usually do, roses in southern California will not naturally go into a dormant state. Does that mean we should never prune them? NO, your roses will be healthier and more vigorous if you prune them once a year.
Force Dormancy by Pruning
January is the month when we force our southern California roses into a brief dormancy by pruning them. As much as it hurts me to cut off those beautiful blooms, it’s best for the plant’s health and for the coming year’s flowering. I admit, though, that the bed of roses pictured above isn’t getting pruned until the first week of February because they are just too gorgeous right now! If, like me, you’ve delayed pruning your roses, try to do it in the next week or so. If you need a refresher on how to prune roses, click here.
Care After Pruning
Be sure to clean up all debris under the rose bushes and spray the pruned shrub with a dormant spray (horticultural oil or fungal spray) to limit disease and pests in the coming season. Put a 3-4 inch layer of mulch around the base of the roses, keeping mulch a few inches away from the trunk of the plant. Fertilize roses after you see the new leaves leaf out. Water the fertilizer in well. Be sure to irrigate regularly if we don’t get rain. After each bloom cycle, dead head spent blooms and apply more fertilizer to get the next crop of blooms! And pick lots to bring the beauty of your garden indoors!