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How to Prune and Train Roses

In this how-to video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook enhances the look and life of a rose bush

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


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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