Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pruning 101: A look at Malaysia rose pruning

You can find hundreds of pruning articles on the net. What I could offer here that is unique is my Malaysian pruning experience, which I am delightful to share. It is not cool to repeat what rosarians have already said brilliantly about pruning. What I am hopeful is my writing to at least bring you some added values. 

From my experience talking to people who grow roses in Malaysia, I can conclude 2 things about pruning roses here:
  • There are people who prune their roses; some for the right reasons and some for the wrong reasons.
  • There are people who don’t prune their roses at all; some don’t even know a thing call ‘deadheading’, let alone pruning.

Right reasons

People who prune their roses for the right reasons have educated themselves about pruning and know very clear the advantages of pruning, briefly: 
  • To promote healthy, vigorous stem growth
  • To remove dead and diseased wood
  • To open the center of the plant and promote good air circulation
  • To help maintain an attractive and well-balanced shape plant

While some know how to prune, majority are in the grey area when it comes to how much to prune, when to prune, which roses to prune, and what to accomplish from pruning (besides the 4 good reasons listed above).

Some others are totally unaware that certain roses require no pruning at all when one considers certain time of the year and certain plant age.

Wrong reasons

People who prune their roses for the wrong reasons have these in mind:

  • Pruning is a cultural practice. They follow blindly because their nurseryman or some internet articles told them so (which writer grows 500 bush of roses in California but have no clue whatsoever about growing roses in Malaysia)
  • Some equate pruning to deadheading, some equate it to ‘togel’ling (defoliating) the plant
  • Some do not know the differences between light pruning and heavy pruning and the use of each
  • Some prune when their roses are in trouble in hope to rejuvenate them, or to get rid of pests

Some of the issues above I will address in due time but let’s go slow and start at ground zero since most of us, including myself, are fairly new at growing roses - and pruning. 

Since this topic is fairly long, I am splitting the post so you'll have easy time reading, so catch me again this week on this series - The science behind pruning.

Thanks for reading.

Author and copyright of Rough Rosa


Meredehuit ♥ said...

You have a lovely blog. I will be interested in reading what you learn about roses. You may enjoy a post of mine on roses:

Anonymous said...

Great topic! Can't wait for your next write up!

Stephanie said...

You have touched on a interesting topic. I usually prune my rose plant. But then, I realise they take their time grow. Sometimes, they grow fast but most of the time not. My rose is still one small bush he he...

AaronVFT said...

Thanks. Now I know what to prune my rose for!

SF said...

So happy to know that you are going to write on this topic. Really looking forward to it!

James Missier said...

Seriously, I have no clue on pruning. The most I would do is to keep the main branch and cut the emerging shoots leaving some few side branches to make up the body.

Though, I guess trailing roses may not need pruning at all in the first place.

Nathan care for roses guy said...

Rough Rosa you have captured us all.
this is atopic of great value formany are confused and make it much harder than really is. Also certain rose types will require more pruning than others. knowing the type of rose you have is a good start as well.

ROUGH.ROSA said...

Meredehuit, thanks for stopping by. Think I got to learn from you. You really have a wonderful and meaningful garden I envy so much!

Anonymous, I hope you will find it to be interesting and of value to you.

Hi Steph,no worry. We ought to give roses sometime. Pruning doesn't always make them grow more. The timing has to be right, I learn this the hard way. I will write about this more in the pruning series.

Aaron, u're welcome!

SF, thanks. I have so much to share. I hope all will benefit.

Hi James! That's a purposeful pruning you did. You know exactly what effect you wanna achieve - a balance looking tree, so keep on with that goal & goodluck!

Hi Nathan, thanks for taking an interest in my blog. You're right. Always look at the type of roses first before pruning as it gives one the right start.