• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook explains how to prune and train rose bushes.

    Steps:

    1. Inspect rose bush to find old, dead or weak branches.
    2. Use pruning saw to cut through selected branches at the base of plant.
    3. Deadhead plant with bypass pruners, removing all faded flowers.
    4. Dig 3-feet-deep holes for fence posts on either side of rose bush; set posts in holes.
    5. Join the three horizontal rails to the posts using a small sledge to tap together the parts.
    6. Backfill around fence posts with soil.
    7. Use jute twine to tie the rose canes (branches) to the fence rails.
    8. Remove weeds from around the rose bush using a cultivator.
    9. Add fertilizer to soil around plant, then rake it in with the cultivator.
    10. Spread a 2-inch layer of cypress bark mulch around base of plant.
    11. Add 1 to 2 inches of water per week to the rose bush.
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    • Difficulty: Moderate
      Digging the postholes is the only challenging, time-consuming part
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      Tools List

      • gloves
        Work gloves
      • bypass pruners
        Bypass pruner,
        for deadheading plant
      • pointed shovel
        Transplanting shovel,
        used to start fence postholes
      • post hole digger
        Post-hole digger,
        used to dig fence postholes to 3 feet deep
      • sledge hammer
        3-pound sledgehammer,
        used to assemble the split-rail fence
      • hand cultivator
        Three-prong cultivator,
        for removing weeds from around plant

      Shopping List

      1. 8-foot-section of cedar split-rail fence
      provides support for training rose

      2. Jute twine
      used to tie plant to fence rails

      3. 5-10-5 fertilizer

      4. Cypress bark mulch