When I first started growing roses, I followed a twice-yearly pruning schedule, in January and then a hard pruning in August. I now only have 3 rose plants growing in the ground; the other in-ground rose plants fell victim to gophers. The slower-growing James Galway English rose is not as prominent (yet) but has lovely flower buds that already reveal their eventual pink splendor. The one in the background against the wall in the shaded area is my white iceberg rose. The one in the foreground looking very tall is the Sunblest rose (hybrid tea).
These rose plants are also covered in flower buds, all the way to their tallest point. It’s been not too many years when I bought them in 5-gallon containers. Now, these rose plants are taller than I am, and I love it! Also against type (and probably advice), I don’t do anything special with these roses other than to water them a couple of times a week and deadhead when needed. I don’t feed them plant food. The rest is sunshine, suitable climate, and strong specimens.
Sometimes, people shy away from gardening because of the anticipated effort involved. Certainly, some projects are quite involved and require a significant time and resource commitment. But if you’re starting modestly, sometimes with a few plants that you care for on a semi-regular basis, you may find that these plants survive and thrive. Unless you are dealing with plants that have highly specific needs that must be tended to lest they perish, you’ll probably have a reasonable chance of getting your plant to live for many years.
Given the results of my in-ground roses, I will continue to leave them to grow unpruned. They seem to be happy with that decision!
More information on the James Galway English rose can be found here: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/american/showrose.asp?showr=3654
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