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The Basics Of Pruning
The technique of pruning varies with the type of rose and the landscape purpose for which it was planted, whether it's growing in the ground or in a container. Pruning can range from removing unwanted buds to severely excising canes. Proper pruning stimulates growth at the buds closest to the cut, which produces new flowering stems.
The first step in pruning any type of rose is to remove any dead, damaged, diseased, or weak and thin canes, cutting them off flush with the bud union or, in the case of own-root plants, flush with the crown. Look for any canes that are broken or wounded, or that have cankers (dark, sunken lesions caused by a fungus), and prune below the injury, at the highest point where the pith (the central portion of the cane) is healthy and white. Make the cut exactly 1/4 inch above a growth bud. If the injury extends below that point, cut to a lower growth bud.
Next, remove canes that are growing into the center of the plant or those that cross each other. Canes that grow inward keep light and air from the center of the plant and will eventually cross, chafing one another. These abrasions can become entry points for insects and diseases. Using shears cut these canes down to their origin, whether that is another cane, the bud union, or the crown. It is important to keep the center of the plant open to let in sunshine and allow air to circulate freely.
Always prune to an outward-facing bud so that canes do not grow into the center of the plant. Prune at a distance close enough to the bud that no stub remains to die off and harbor insects or diseases but far enough away that the bud will not die. A good distance is about 1/4 inch above the growth bud. Equally important, cut at the proper angle so that water runoff won't drip on the bud or collect in the cut and retard healing. The ideal angle is 45 degrees, slanted parallel to the direction of bud growth.
Pruning in Warm and Cold Climates
In warm climates where rose plants grow quite large, pruning to the recommended height is not desirable because it will remove too much of the plant. Instead, prune away about one half to two thirds of the plant each winter or early spring by removing the older canes and shortening the remaining canes. In cold climates where there is a great deal of winter damage, pruning heights may be determined for you by the amount of winterkill. Prune canes down to where there is no more winter damage, even if it is almost to the ground.
The higher a plant is pruned, the earlier it will flower. But don't jeopardize the health and vigor of the plant by pruning too high just to have blooms a few clays earlier. There is little advantage to pruning your roses lower than the heights prescribed above; unlike disbudding (which we'll discuss later); it will probably not make the plants produce larger flowers.
Although black spot and other fungal diseases manifest themselves on leaves, their spores can over-winter on rose canes. If these diseases plagued your roses during the previous summer, you should prune them lower than recommended, cutting away and discarding much of the source of the problem. Although you won't be able to see the spores on the canes, you can be assured that cutting off a few extra inches during spring pruning will reduce the number of spores to some degree. Never leave rose cuttings on the ground. They look unsightly and harbor diseases and pests that may potentially re-infect the plant or spread to others.
When to Seal Cuts
Pruning cuts more than inch in diameter can be sealed with pruning compound, orange shellac, or grafting wax (available at garden centers or hardware stores) if boring insects are a problem in your area. Pruning compound and orange shellac are the easiest to use because they can be painted on. Otherwise, sealing is not necessary. Some types of white glue, which is sometimes used as a sealant, are water soluble and will wash away with the first rain or watering; they should therefore not be used.
Inspect After Pruning
Several weeks after you have pruned, take a second trip through the garden with your paining shears. If you pruned early in the year, a late frost may have caused minor dieback on some of the canes. This dieback should be removed. Cankers that were not apparent at pruning time may be visible and should also be pruned away.
Don't be too harsh when pruning young plants. Until plants are well established and have been growing robustly for two to three years, remove only weak, damaged, or dead wood. Shape and shorten the plants as recommended above without cutting away any of the older canes. In the following years, old canes can be removed as new ones develop.
Bambi Coker © All Rights Reserved
Choosing the Perfect Landscape Painting
Landscape paintings are a beautiful way to spruce up the decor of your home. Although you can buy cheap reproduced paintings, you may want to consider purchasing an original from an artist to reduce the risk of a friend obtaining the same one. You can even buy one from an undiscovered up-and-coming artist to get a beautiful landscape painting at half the cost.
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Having a gazebo in the backyard is an excellent way to enhance the appearance while providing you with a quiet place to sit and relax after a hard day at work. Gazebos are wonderful for barbecue parties, family gatherings, or simply sipping on a cup of coffee or glass of lemonade on a lazy day. To create a romantic setting, you could string miniature lights along the railing and roof of the gazebo and then spend time with someone special out under the stars. Because of their popularity, the number of gazebo sales is rising. However, as with any investment, you want to make sure you choose the right type. For that reason, consider the top five questions you should ask.
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This is a project I've had on the back burner for many months now, but now it's finally ready!
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Blue Wild Flowers for Your Garden
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When you decide to buy one bird house or more -- be aware that there are many designs being sold that are unsuitable for the birds. These houses may not attract any birds or the types of birds you wish, or they may actually be harmful. Many are very cute and look like little decorated houses. There is nothing wrong with these, but they are usually more appropriate as indoor decoration than as good safe homes for wild birds. Below is a checklist of the ten most important features of a good working bird house. Before you put a house out for wild birds, be sure it has these ten features. If it is decorative and still has these features, then it is fine to put it out.
Funniest Pond Stories-Part 1, May 2004
Get ready for some gut-wrenching, laugh out loud hilarious pond stories from all over the world...
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Toxic Pollutants & Their Effect on Fish Health
Once water temperatures increase in the summer months, fish become more active and produce increasing amounts of waste, leading to potential water pollution. Fish produce waste in the form of ammonia, which is broken down into nitrites then nitrates by beneficial bacteria. Both ammonia and nitrite are very harmful to fish, even in very small quantities. Ammonia, in particular, is more toxic at high temperatures and can cause severe problems. In fact, water can hold five times as much dangerous ammonia at 77°F as opposed to 41°F. The effect on water quality is exaggerated by a high pH, resulting in the formation of more toxic ammonia.
Spring Garden Tips
Gardeners, it's time to put your gardening skills to the test. If temperatures are cooperating, the merry months of May and June will be your busiest until September, with planning, planting, and patio projects to lead the way into summer. Don't be fooled by a late frost; find out the mean freeze date in your area, and be sure soil is warm and workable-not too wet, not too dry-before putting tender plants in the ground.
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Fall is the Time to Get Your Garden Trees and Shrubs Ready for Winter: Heres What to Do
Tips for winter care of trees and shrubs
Lawn Care Information
Recent lawn care information reports that a lot of us might be guilty of over-kill when it comes to tending our family turf. What may be the most effective way to solve problems may not be the best way for the long-term health of our lawns and safety of our families.
Thyme: The Herb of Courage
Garden thyme, fresh or dried, alone or combined with parsley and bay leaves to make a bouquet garni, adds a distinctive aromatic flavouring to meats, poultry, stews, sauces, and stuffing. Thymus vulgaris, commonly known as cooking thyme, English thyme, French thyme, or winter thyme is just one of the 350 species of the genus Thymus. Often called the 'herb of courage,' garden thyme can be grown indoors or out. Thyme is a shrubby perennial with small, oval, narrow, grey-green leaves, long, woody, branched stems, and sturdy roots. This plant blooms in mid-summer and has lavender-pink flowers that occur in small clusters. The flowers attract bees and the honey produced is highly valued. The leaves are very aromatic. Leaves, stems, and flowers may all be eaten.
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