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Primer on Roses

Bayville, NJ

I've said it before but I'll say it again: I am a complete and utter newbie gardener. I plant stuff and hope for the best. I've been lucky, believe it or not I do have a lot of pretty flowers and shrubs.

Today I need a "primer" so to speak on roses. Seriously the basics. Ideally including diagrams. We have a few rose bushes which we planted within the last couple of years but have essentially not tended to. Surprisingly the poor things have survived despite our neglect. In fact, we have a lot of blooms this year. I want to trim off the blooms and cut the stems a bit...not prune exactly, just thin a bit, they're getting rather "leggy." So I pulled out the gardening books and Googled but they don't have diagrams so I'm really not sure which stems I need to cut, where along the stem to cut, etc. It's all Greek to an utter newbie gardener that I am. Main stem, sideshoots, main stem off a sideshoot... huh? which is which? It also says to cut in early morning when it's cool (ha, gets me off the hook for today, then, it's already 5:00 and hot).

My father rolls over in his grave every time I attempt to deal with the roses. He had such lovely rose bushes; he loved them and tended them so carefully. Did I learn nothing by watching him? Clearly not.

Would someone please take pity on me and give me some advice? If you can direct me to diagrams that would be helpful too.

Thank you,

Bayville, NJ

Oh, these are very helpful! Particularly the MSUCares diagrams. Thank you so much!

Any other instructions, keep 'em coming, I need all the advice I can get!

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

I am happy the links are useful. here is some more general rose care info, including info from Rutgers Extension office.




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