Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - August 01, 2008

From: Sandwich, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Pruning, Shrubs
Title: Pruning and deadheading rosa rugosa while blooming
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can you prune the dead flowers and branches of rosa rogosa while it is still blooming?

ANSWER:

Just about any member of the Rosaceae family will profit from deadheading and judicious pruning. They will put on fresh growth and it will also promote further blooming. It's not a job we personally would want to take on. Although we live in the land of Prickly Pear cactus and Agave with its formidable armor, we wouldn't voluntarily try pruning a rosa rugosa. The stems are incredibly spiny, densely covered in gray, needle-like thorns. However, in Massachusetts, with your early hard winters, we would not suggest pruning any more after August 1, although deadheading can continue. By pruning, you promote new growth and it might not have time to harden off before Winter. Rosa rugosa is a native of northern China, Korea and Japan, and therefore would not appear in our Native Plant Database. This USDA Plants Profile for Rosa rugosa indicates that it is widely grown in Massachusetts.

We found this forum iVillage Garden Web on Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses that we thought you might find amusing. Apparently, you're either for 'em or agin 'em, with a lot of strong opinions, but you also could pick up some useful information from other gardeners with experience with the plants. For instance, several gardeners offer tips on picking up those stems without impaling yourself.


 

More Pruning Questions

Tidying up Copper Canyon Daisies in San Antonio
March 30, 2010 - We have a small bed with 4 copper canyon daisies. We cut them back in the fall but have not pruned them during growing season; as a result they become a big tangle by September. Should they be pruned ...
view the full question and answer

Pruning a Wafer Ash to make it upright
February 11, 2005 - How do I trim a Wafer Ash? It lays on the ground. Is that normal? Does it need to be upright?
view the full question and answer

Trimming spineless yucca in Chicago
April 05, 2011 - I have a spineless yucca (indoors) which is 11 feet tall and thirty-five years old. When the yucca recently started to scrape the ceiling, I moved it away (roughly 20 feet) from the windows to an area...
view the full question and answer

When to prune Texas betony (Stachys coccinea)
May 28, 2007 - I bought Texas Betony plants several years ago at Wildflower Days. They are thriving, but a bit leggy. Somewhere I read that they should be cut back several times during the year. Now I can't find...
view the full question and answer

Control of out-of-bounds Virginia creeper
September 16, 2007 - Our Virginia creeper (Woodbine) has outgrown its planned location this past summer. What is the best way to prune ivy stems for next years controlled growth?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.