Our annual end-of-summer contest is here, come on down to the Dave's Garden County Fair!

Confederate Rose, should I have cut it down this winter?

Manning, SC(Zone 8a)

I'm confused about what I need to do with my Confederate Rose. I planted it last spring and it grew fast and tall, with a good sturdy trunk about 5 inches around at the base. I thought I'd read that it would die back to the ground in places that got too cold. I wasn't sure what it would do in my zone.
Well, it never died back, but nothing is appearing on it's branches now, and there's new growth starting at the bottom, next to the trunk. Should I just cut the old bush down? Seems a shame, it's so sturdy. Should I cut it down every winter?

Thumbnail by thea611
Johns Island, SC

I don't KNOW, thea611. But what I've done for the past 20 years is just prune back the clearly "dead" wood and walk away from it, and it's now 20' feet tall and magnificent. My guess is if the tips get frozen (always the first to go, because that's where the liquid is concentrated and most susceptible to freezing). But my Confederate Rose is approaching 20 yrs old now, and has been slow returning the past 2 yrs. I think it's reached it's "normal lifespan"...and may be ready to retire. Slow coming back this year...

Orangeburg, SC

Mine comes back from the roots. So I just cut off the previous years growth at ground level. It's the same way with my brugs and hardy hibiscus.

Seabrook, SC(Zone 8b)

Mine comes back from the roots, too. I cut it back every winter mid February.

I treat mine like a mum. It's in the wrong spot; it gets way too big for it's location. I cut it back several times through the growing season and stop in August/September (something like that) when it starts to set buds.

New Bern, NC(Zone 8a)

Just moved mine today. Cut it down late last fall - November - always do that, and it has been fine. But it was in the wrong place - I keep moving it, and it seems to like every new location. I told it today it's the last move.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Lol Entlie mine has had "moving" experiences for the last 6 years .. I've pretty much moved it about every 2 years .. I moved it again this year and like you told it that this was the last time .. It's amazing how these guys are so movable. On moving years it gets up to about 8 feet. On non moving years it gets over 10 feet tall.

Like those above I cut it down in the Spring but not all the way to the ground I leave about 8 inches since new shoots will show up on the "old" wood as well as come up from the roots.

I grew this one from seed .. it's brothers and sisters have all found new homes but I kept this one because it looks like someone took a paint brush and tipped it in various places.

This message was edited Apr 9, 2011 8:27 AM

Thumbnail by Xeramtheum
New Bern, NC(Zone 8a)

X - it's beautiful. Mine is just the plain pink variety.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Thanks! It goes slowly to all pink after a day or so.

Bluffton, SC(Zone 9a)

Mine is maybe 5 years old and I cut a third or so off. By fall it will be 12 ft or so tall, grows like a weed . Can you bend the branches without them breaking??? Mines is just putting out leaves so if I were you I would wait a few more weeks or just cut it back all the branches a little and see what's up. If you cut one and it's dead wood safe to cut back all of them. Cut one back and it looks fine just do nothing.

Manning, SC(Zone 8a)

The branch ends do snap in two, very brittle and dead, so I will cut them back. I'll work my way down and see how it feels. The new growth at the very bottom of the trunk encourages me, as do all your stories about how forgiving the plant seems to be, with moving and all!!!
Thanks everyone!

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

These guys are TOUGH for sure!


New Bern, NC(Zone 8a)

Once ours got so big, had outgrown its spot once again, the Captain wrapped a chain around it and pulled it out with his truck! We cut reduced the size drastically before replanting it.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Ouch! That was mean! Lol .. I'm amazed at how much growth mine has put on in spite of being moved the first week in March. I'm thinking it really likes its new home.

Thumbnail by Xeramtheum

Post a Reply to this Thread

You cannot post until you , sign up and subscribe. to post.