Cutting Back Roses

Anonymous added on August 8, 2017 | Answered

I have quite a few roses in my garden, however with our heat in Oklahoma reaching above 100 degrees for most of this summer, a few of them have no leaves left. They are just tall,naked stems. Should I cut these back? If so, how far, where do I cut, and when do I cut? I would hate to lose them.

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Answered on August 9, 2017

Excessive heat affects roses as you've seen. However, pruning increases the stress because it tells the plant to make more stems and leaves. If the canes look healthy, let them be as new leaves will appear when cooler weather arrives. Plants need more than 1" water/week in hot weather and no fertilizer. One concern is whether spider mites caused the leaf drop as they are more active in hot weather. The Rose Society has a picture of heat-stressed leaves and some remedies.

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