Tropical Style

How to Prune 'George Burns' Roses

If you reside in a climate that is warm, “George Burns” roses are red with yellow stripes; at a cool climate, yellowish predominates. Unpredictable as its namesake, actor and comedian George Burns, this floribunda rose grows in small clusters of double blossoms in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 though 10. A compact plant with shiny dark leaves and a nice citrus fragrance, the “George Burns” rose bears tea-rose size flowers, 4 inches round, each with 26 to 40 petals. It grows about 3 feet high and can be trimmed or pruned back severely in early spring.

Wipe the blades of the clippers with a cloth dipped in denatured alcohol. Repeat this gesture between cuts. This prevents the transfer of ailments.

Prune out dead or weak canes at ground level. If you are not certain that a cane is dead, remove a thin slice of bark and scrutinize the wood under. If it is brown, the cane is dead; green, the cane stays alive. Trim out broken or diseased stems at least 6 inches into healthy wood. Prune out canes that cross one another to protect against rubbing wounds.

Prune back the current growth on each of the remaining canes by about one-fourth to one-third. Should you prune more, you will enjoy bigger but fewer roses. Should you prune less, your roses will be smaller, but there’ll be more of these. Make each pruning cut at a 45-degree angle over an outward-facing bud.

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