Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

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
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

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 Shrubs Questions

Trimming American beautyberry in Austin
December 20, 2009 - I have recently developed an interest in plants and since I work for a country club taking care of all the House & Grounds Maintenance, the landscaping is certainly a part of my work. I have a questi...
view the full question and answer

Pruning tips for Texas Mountain Laurel.
October 09, 2011 - Towards the end of May, I planted some Mountain Laurel seeds in pots. They are about six inches high now and starting to branch out. Do I need to trim off the leaves on the main stem below the branche...
view the full question and answer

Shrub to scrren house from dust from gravel road
July 28, 2013 - HI: We live in the foothills of Dobbins, California (2 hours North of Sacramento, Ca). I live on a gravel dirt road with traffic that goes about 45 miles an hour. When they drive by our house it lo...
view the full question and answer

Native trees or shrubs for containers on roof in Wisconsin
March 17, 2010 - Looking for native trees/shrubs to be planted in containers on a flat roof w/south-southeast exposure. Gets pretty warm in the summer and pretty cold in the winter. How big would the container have to...
view the full question and answer

Converting a Texas backyard to grow Xerophytic native plants
January 09, 2015 - I am planning the conversion of our backyard, about 4000 sq ft of largely St Augustine, into a grassless landscape of hardscaping and native plants. Iíve been an avid gardener of rock garden plants i...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.