Should I prune my rose back in the fall?

Question: 

Should I prune my rose back in the fall?

Answer: 

No.  Pruning stimulates new growth.  That new growth will not have an opportunity to properly harden off before winter leaving it vulnerable to more winter damage.

Even established growth that has properly hardened off will see some stem die-back over winter.  For landscape or shrub roses it is typically pretty minor.  for others types, like hybrid tea roses, it can be extensive, especially without winter protection.  During mild winters, the amount of stem die-back will be much less than in more severe winters.  Leave all stem material in place in case there is a mild winter and less dead material will have to be pruned out.  

The best time to prune roses is in early spring.  Typically between late-March and mid-April in Iowa.

Learn more about growing roses in this article: Growing Roses in Iowa.

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