Spring Care for Shrub Roses

Kerrys_Red_Knockout_RosesNow is the time to prune back shrub roses (unless they are once-blooming heirloom roses – prune these after they finish blooming in early summer). Don’t be hesitant or nervous with hand pruners. Prune with gusto, removing at least half or more the length of existing canes. Prune just above an outward facing leaf bud (little red pointy nub emerging from the stem). Ideally the cut should be slightly slanted (slanting downward towards the inside of the shrub) but I’m not going to pretend that I’m that careful once the pruners start flying!
After this height-adjusting exercise, now look at the shrub’s interior and prune away any smaller branches (emerging from main canes) that aim towards the center of the shrub. These slender stems only rob energy from outward facing stems that produce flowers, plus they reduce light and airflow inside the rose that could lead to fungal problems. Snip, snip! Also cut out any dead or damaged canes or any that rub against each other (remove one of the two ‘nuzzlers’).
rosetone_EspomaFinally, give your rejuvenated rose some organic fertilizer, Rose-Tone (4-3-2), from Espoma. Rose-tone’s all natural formula contains Bio-tone®, a blend of beneficial microbes. Simply scratch this premier, slow release granular product into the soil around the base of the rose, water in and stand back for the upcoming flower show.
Espoma also offers many other fine organic products that naturally enhance a plant’s ability to produce a lush growth and flourish. And their organic lawn care products will make your lawn the talk of the neighborhood.