When should I trim my roses? How much should I take off?
Your roses are probably hybrid teas or floribundas that have been grafted onto the roots of Rosa x fortuneana, which is often called a Florida rootstock even though this species is native to China. Highly resistant to nematodes, this rootstock produces vigorous plants that do best when pruned lightly but continuously all year, with a more serious pruning to shape the plants in August. Each time you cut flowers to bring indoors, also remove any old blossoms as well as leaves or stems that show evidence of black spot-a fungal disease that causes black spots on leaves, with yellowing between the black patches.
In August, prune out any old brown canes, then shape the plants as needed, removing up to half of the branches. When black spot or other diseases attack and get out of control, some south Florida gardeners also remove all remaining leaves at this time. However, there is no need to remove healthy leaves. Follow up this pruning with a good feeding, which will energize the plants to bloom well all winter.
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