Pruning methods varies with the type of roses. There are Hybrid Tea, Floribunda, Polyantha, Miniature, Standard, Climber, Rambler, Tree, old-fashioned and shrub roses and species. Many varieties are there under each type. No hard and fast rule can be employed for the type among varieties. Pruning methods differ greatly within the type among varieties. Apart from the intelligent understanding of theory of pruning, this art can be learned by practice and experience. A balanced bush, well pruned will make for satisfactory growth and long life.
In the first year plants are pruned to three to four eyes, choosing a bud which points outward. In the second year new growths of the previous year to be pruned to three to four eyes where they have started. The third year onward pruning will be same as that of last year, but at least one shoot should be pruned almost to the ground level each year. While pruning Hybrid Tea roses a fair rule to fallow is to cut the bush back to height of 30 to 37.5 cm above the ground; over an above that removal of dead wood, interfering branches and suckers.
Vigorous growing rose cultivars need less cutting back, then those, which are weak in growth. In temperate climate, it is suggested that one branch every year be pruned to one eye to get some best growth to keep the plant bushy. The roses for exhibition purpose are encouraged to grow only with 3-4 stems, which will be specimen blooms.
There are some cultivars that may even not like moderate pruning, depending upon locality. It is always better to remove an older branch each year, retaining 5 or 6 branches. Removing of one or two older branches means throwing the strength into the production of strong, new, flower producing stems.
These are essentially a shrub type of rose and produce masses or cluster of flowers. Hence, one objective of the pruning Floribundas should be to keep the shape and proportions of shrubs as nearly as possible. All weak, twiggy and diseased growth are removed; and pruning should be done 45 cm to 50 cm from the ground.
To encourage the strong healthy growth and to regulate shape of the bush, in the first season, pruning may be severe; thereafter pruning should be light. In case of necessity, the older shoots are removed from the base to make room for and to encourage new branches.
Hard pruning is never practiced for Floribundas. Hard pruning is needed in first year to 2-3 eyes, choosing an outer eye for preference; in the second year the thin growths are removed and secondary growths are kept as long as healthy wood permits; in the third year, wood of second year is removed, cutting to one or two eyes close to the base of the bush, by doing so, the foundation of new basal growth is laid out, which in its turn will be light pruned when twelve months old and almost removed when twenty four months old.
So, in the Floribunda bush half of the wood will be younger, lightly pruned and the other half, the older, hard pruned. If planted for hedge, the bush will require less pruning, than were being grown for bedding display.
These types of roses bear large number of alternative flowers in masses, the shape of the plants are to be maintained. Plants are not to be allowed to become tall and ungainly, must continue to flourish at the same height, however old they are. While pruning, the overcrowded and dead branches are removed; the branches, which have completed flowering, are tipped off to encourage new growth. In the first year, however, Polyantha roses are to be pruned as that of Hybrid Tea or Floribunda roses.
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