Sunday, May 16, 2010

Top heavy: Prune hard or prune light?

This chili-red rose is my favorite rose tree. The tree blooms continuously and never ceases blooming no matter how bad my garden is.

Though the tree is strong (it has been with me for 2 years plus now), it has only one main stem since the other stem was lost months ago to a transplanting shock (a valuable lesson learnt!). So, pruning (pemangkasan) this tree has always been light for me, to keep most of its foliage on. I fear if I prune hard the tree might just die on me.

Right Photo: This one and only main stem is big, bigger than my thumb in diameter. The dead stump next to it is the one I lost. The tree should look better without the black stump but what the heck,  I keep it to serve as a constant reminder to a lesson learnt.

Even with one main stem, the tree produces nothing less than 20 blooms per cycle. The last bloom cycle alone gave me 26 blooms in total but I am not too sure if it can keep up with this number. 

Above Photo: Top heavy. Heavy in buds too with some were waiting to bloom.

Above Photo: Bloom at last but not many were spared after a heavy rain few days after. :(

Now, the tree is top heavy with bloom quality at stake. It tries hard to produce many more blooms with the arrival of many new shoots. But they are in a big mess. They are everywhere and the shoots' length gets shorter and shorter, for lack of sturdy big branches to grow on.

Above Photo: The new shoots are visible as red leaves. I always love new shoots. It's a promise of many more blooms.

But I also want to see if hard pruning can rejuvenate the tree to grow new basal breaks and main stems from the ground. These will help the tree to grow stronger in the long run.

With its good track record, an additional new main stem means I could easily get 40+ blooms per cycle. (yahoo! no harm in dreaming eh?)

Light pruning? Hard pruning? It’s a crossroad. 


This week’s weather seems amusing.

The sun shines brightly in the morning with temperature rises up to 36 degree Celsius in the afternoon. Even sitting on my living room couch with the fan turned on can still cook me to a heavy sweat.

All of sudden black clouds roll in and in a matter of seconds the rain pours. It's 2 pm in the afternoon and my laundry line is still full of clothes.  So, I am on a rescue mission to bring in whatever left dry on the line.

Back on my couch at 3 pm, the rain ceases. All of sudden, the sky is clear blue and the sun shines brightly again and the temperature is back on 36 degree Celcius.

I am all sweating from running and again the temperature. Very amusing!

Back to pruning

OK. So, prune hard or prune light?

After looking at this week’s weather, I think I would bury any pruning intention whatsoever. No matter how light or hard it's going to be. The weather alone can drive my roses and I crazy!

When it comes to pruning, judging the climactic condition is a must. It's tough for your roses to loose a lot of foliage under this hot unpredictable weather.

But in the matter of which pruning method I choose; hard or light, it is still a big dilemma. I'll post my decision soon once I have it.


Rashidah Mat Zin said...

If there're 40 blooms, and its too much too handle, send those here for someone to also appreciate them.

ROUGH.ROSA said...


but 40 blooms are not enough even made as loose petals for your brides... :(

what about you ship me some rose leftovers from your big weddings for me to appreciate eh? I always love grade A roses... haha..

Window On The Prairie said...

Hard prune I'm thinking. It will grow new canes from the bottom, and it will be better for it in the long run. Difficult to do, I know, but it will be worth it.

AaronVFT said...

I love your roses! They are so beautiful! Finally found a source for growing roses in Malaysia!

Autumn Belle said...

I like the beautiful roses that you are featuring her in your blog and the information shared. I'll try growing roses again soon.

ROUGH.ROSA said...

Hi Suzanne. Thanks for stopping by. I think I've to agree with you. It's happening. This time there's only 12 buds with the rest are blind shoots.

ROUGH.ROSA said...

Hi Aaron & Autumn Belle. Thanks for the lovely words and adding yourself to this link. My blog is still in infancy unlike yours but it's a start :) Glad u found the content to be useful nonetheless.

James Missier said...

I would suggest plant back whatever you prune, that way you always got a spare.

ROUGH.ROSA said...

James, u're right on the money. I do propagate from pruned canes. Trouble is I often have too many seedlings for such little space in the garden. It's more fun to just give away the canes, but I noticed the seedlings always brought bigger smile when presented as gifts!

TY said...

Hello! I've just come across your very interesting blog! I used to grow roses in Singapore (not as fine as yours) and now I grow them well in the US— usually basal breaks occur when a very vigorous plant wants to put out new growth at the start of a growth season or when the weather cools down (as in spring or autumn). I usually find that hard pruning when a plant is stressed by the heat usually weakens the plant and sets it back. Especially in the tropics when they don't have a chance to rest dormant in winter... Also, have you read about watering Epsom salts to encourage basal breaks? Google it! :)