Knockout Rose Bushes
Q.

Fall pruning

Zone Zone 8 | Astromom added on November 10, 2017 | Answered

I started gardening these year in zone 8 pacific northwest. I was advise to prunned and mulch in fall to protect the plants in winter so I pruned my plants to about 6 inches and mulch around base. But I am really confused becase I started to read online that prunning should be done in late winter and spring and only during dry days so my quetions is the plants will not survive and wont comeback or they will be waek and not bloom. Plants I prunned (knocked out roses,English lavander, rosemary, vervena x hybrid and carnations) Sorry if these question sounds stupid I just don't want to make the same mistake again and waste money and time and endup killing the poor plants.

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MichiganDot
Answered on November 11, 2017

As with just about everything, there is no one pruning technique that fits all plants. Pruning is seen by the plant as a threat to its existence; in response, it feels compelled to send out new growth. New growth this time of year may not make it through the winter since it doesn't have time to become winter-hardy. Another reason not to prune in fall is that new growth now depletes some of the winter food that has been stored in the roots. On the other hand, the PNW doesn't have severe cold so I believe your plants will be OK. Knock Out roses are pruned in early spring before they leaf out. Remove a few of the oldest, largest diameter canes annually but never more than 1/3 of the plant canes. Roses, and lavender bloom best on younger wood. Lavender can be cut back in winter to keep them from getting leggy and straggly looking. 6 inches seems too much but your plant will survive. So will the rose. Many verbenas are annuals meaning they flower, set seed and die in one year. To keep them going, collect seed or take stem cuttings. (Hybrids do not come true from seed; i.e. they will not look exactly like the parent plant.). Carnations are all over the map; some are annuals, some biennials and some perennials! If they flowered this year and come back next spring, you have the perennial kind. Cut the stems nearly to the ground when the plant is dormant - leaves have fallen and no new growth is apparent. Good luck. For information on gardening in your area, go to your state's "extension service" website.

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