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Prune for fall rose bloom

Now is the time to begin preparing for fall rose blooms. Roses need proper disease management, pruning and fertilization in August through early September for best fall performance.

Hybrid tea roses can be pruned back to a height of 30-36 inches. Remove crossing and competing canes in the center of the plant. This thinning type of cane removal pruning is generally recommended for late winter, but is beneficial in late summer too.

Floribunda, grandiflora and landscape shrub roses are typically pruned in late summer to reduce plant height by one-third. Fall blooms will normally peak 45-50 days after pruning.

In conjunction with pruning, clear debris from rose beds and pull weeds. Apply a slow-release fertilizer and add a fresh layer of mulch. Irrigation may be necessary if rainfall is less than one inch a week.

It is important to continue disease control on roses in late summer and fall. If weather is dry, foliage diseases may not be a major problem. But if we have excessive rainfall or if your plants are in partial shade or have air circulation issues, disease can occur.

A few simple garden chores can give you beautiful blooms this fall. Prune, fertilize, mulch, weed and continue disease management.

Rebecca Bates is an MSU Extension-Lincoln County agent, and can be reached at 601-835-3460 or by e-mail at rebecca.bates@msstate.edu.