The other day, I went with Mom to a rose pruning workshop at Roger's Gardens in Newport Beach. Apparently, in Southern California, now is the time to start chopping back your roses. In our area, it never gets cold enough for the roses to loose all their leaves naturally. So, we have to help them along. Pruning roses keeps them in top condition, shape and size for the area you have planted. If you let a rose continue to grow, it becomes "leggy". Canes get longer & thinner, and blooms are fewer, weaker & smaller. Pruning roses in the winter prevents plants from spending unnecessary energy on growing and producing blooms when sun & nutrients are at a minimum. It's surprising how agressive you can be when cutting them back.
Despite the fact that Mom has told me a million times how to correctly prune a rose, I have never really been super confident. So, she and I went out on a rainy Saturday and cut back a section of her rose garden. It was fun and a learning experience. I'm definitely getting the hang of it!