Pruning for the fall bloom usually starts about August 15-30 here in the Lowcountry.
I will usually cut off about 1/3 of the length of the long canes. The same techniques used in spring pruning apply. Shaping of the bushes is a plus and removal of dead, dying, and crossing canes will improve the fall growth. Although, as I am writing this article it is 98 degrees outside and no let up in site, with the coming of fall, the temperature will drop gradually giving both the gardener and the roses some respite.
Actually, the bushes seem to like being pruned and seem to take on a new look. Of course, after the pruning should come the feeding and watering. Feeding is about the same as I do in the March and again in June. We have such a long growing season, feeding three times a year is certainly not too much. If you are planning to enter any of the Fall rose shows, then perform your pruning about 5-7 weeks ahead of the show. In the fall, since the bushes are already awake, they will cycle a week or so quicker than in the spring. Mine always take 7-8 weeks in the spring and less time in late Summer and Fall. By pruning and feeding in late August, most of the gardens in our coastal area will have two more blooming cycles before frost: about the first of October, and again in mid November. Best wishes for good growing.
Ecojoy, Mills, Shealy’s or any good organic: 2 cups per bush
(for large bushes, 3 cups per bush is OK) Magnesium Sulfate
(Epsom Salts): 1/3 cup per bush
Alfalfa Pellets or Meal: 1 cup per bush
Miracle Gro or Peters: 1 Tbsp per bush
Iron (chelated): 1 Tsp per bush
Mix these ingredients into the top 2-3 inches of soil around the bush and water well with a gallon or more per bush.
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Lowcountry Rose Society