How To Prune A Desert Rose – Tips For Cutting Back Desert Rose Plants
Pruning Desert Roses: When To Do It?
If you are going to prune desert roses, then it is best to do it during the winter months. This will give your plants time to grow back their leaves before they get too hot or cold. You can also use the same principle with other shrubs such as cacti and succulents.
You can start pruning desert roses from mid-summer to early fall. During this time the plants are growing their foliage and flowers.
They need some extra room to breathe so you don’t want them getting too crowded. If you wait until late summer or even later into autumn, then you may not have enough time to prune all of your desert rose plants because they will be busily growing up new growth during these times.
The main reason why you would want to prune desert roses at this time is if you have a large number of them. You might not have enough space to keep them all trimmed back.
Another good reason is if your desert rose bushes are starting to become overgrown with weeds. You may want to cut down on those weeds since they will eventually overtake your shrubbery.
The last reason you would prune a desert rose in the winter is for special occasions. Throughout history, gardeners have pruned their plants to make them more aesthetically pleasing for holidays or other celebrations.
For example, desert roses look very nice around Valentine’s Day because of their rich red flowers.
When To Prune Desert Rose: During The Growing Seasons
You should only prune your desert rose bushes when they are actively growing. This is when they will be most able to recover and heal themselves.
During the growing seasons you can prune your desert roses as needed so that all of the shrubs are roughly the same height and shape. You should also cut them back if they start to get out of hand and are beginning to invade the walkways or other plants. It is a good idea to keep them trimmed because they will more than likely try to overgrow their area if left unattended for long periods of time.
Desert Roses And Shaping Them
Desert roses can be shaped into different forms. You can keep them in their natural rounded form or even shape them into spheres or other rounded shapes.
It is important not to cut them too short because they will never regrow or recover if you do so. When you are pruning your desert roses, it is best to trim them by 1/3 to ½ of their size. This should give you the results that you desire. It is best not to over-prune or under-prune your desert roses.
As the desert roses get older, they may begin to develop brown patches on their leaves. This is mostly due to the organic matter in the soil not being very good or the soil not being able to retain moisture.
In either case, you may need to re-pot your rose and give it a bigger container so that it can grow larger, healthier roots. This will also get more oxygen to the root system and help it grow better.
You may need to stake your desert rose if there is a possibility of a heavy rain or wind storm. The stakes should be thick enough so that they do not break when they come into contact with the rose canes.
You can use wooden stakes, metal wires or plastic coated wires. You should place the stakes on the South side of your desert rose where the most winds come from.
If you live in an area that gets heavy rain or your soil is very sandy, you may want to stake your desert rose anyway. The canes will tend to bend with the weight of the sand and/or rainwater.
This bending can cause the joints to crack open and allow disease to enter. By staking, you will prevent this from happening.
Desert Rose Pests
Fortunately, desert roses are not prone to many pests. One of the more common pests is the aphid.
These are small, green, soft-bodied insects that can be found clusters on new shoots and leaves. They cause distortion and stunted growth in the rose. They also produce a sweet liquid called honeydew as they feed. This sweet liquid can make the rose more susceptible to fungal diseases. The aphids can be effectively killed using conventional means such as spraying them with a strong stream of water or using an insecticidal soap.
Another pest is the mealy bug. This is a small, white cottony looking insect that Secretes a sticky substance called honeydew (like the aphid does) and also feeds on the juices of the plant.
The honeydew this insect produces resembles fine white sugar. This, in turn, allows a sooty mold to grow. The sooty mold will cover the plant parts that the mealy bugs have been feeding on. This not only makes the plant look very unhealthy, but it can also kill it. If you have a severe infestation of mealy bugs, you should get professional help because this is a time consuming process to remove all of the insects and their honeydew and sooty mold waste.
The adult mealy bug is a small white creature that is about the size of a pinhead. It has skinny legs and it may appear as though it has no wings; however, upon closer inspection tiny wings can be seen on the top of its body.
The eggs of the mealy bug look like small white grains of rice. Look out for these while you are inspecting your rose.
In order to prevent pest infestations, you should always buy your roses from a reputable dealer. Always keep your roses well-watered, but don’t keep them standing in water.
Make sure the soil is well-drained, otherwise you may develop fungal diseases and insects. A good tip is to put gravel and large rocks in the bottom of your planting hole and allow it to drain. This will help prevent many problems including root rot and stagnant water.
If your rose is root-bound, you should definitely consider dividing it. This will not only give your rose a fresh start, but it can prevent your plant from growing into an unmanageable situation.
Your rose will be healthier and less prone to pest problems.
Desert Rose Diseases
There are not too many diseases that affect the desert rose, however, one of the most common is blackspot. Blackspot appears as large black areas on leaves and stems.
The disease is actually a fungus that spends part of its life on the leaves and part of its life on the soil. When it is on the leaf, it appears as a blackspot. The black area may look charred and represent dead tissue. There is no treatment for this fungal disease; however, it can be prevented by keeping your rose well-watered and healthy.
If you notice black spot on your leaves, try to remove the infected leaves as soon as possible. It is also a good idea to try to move the rose as soon as you can to a better, safer location.
Other fungal diseases include rust and gray mold. These diseases are generally not serious and can be combated with fungicides.
There are two main insects that can affect your desert rose: the aphid and the mealy bug. I have already described these insects in detail under pest problems.
If you are having disease or pest problems with your rose, try not to buy any more plants from the same place that you bought the infected one. It is also a good idea to quarantine any new plant material you buy and keep it away from your other plants.
Just in case.
Desert roses do not need too much pruning except during the establishment year. Just as you would with any other type of rose, you should prune out any dead wood and any canes that are growing in the wrong direction.
This will encourage stronger, better canes to grow.
Once your rose plant is well-rooted and established, it really does not need to be pruned at all unless you want to shape it or train it into a particular type of rose bush that requires pruning techniques.
Desert Rose Varieties
Gerald Seiler created the Desert King Desert Rose.
V. Wiggin created the Desert Beauty Desert Rose.
Davidson’s Pink was created by Peter Beales and David C. Hildebrand.
Frieda Kral created the Oceana Rose, also known as the Dusseldorf Rose.
The Pink Prelude Rose was created by Robert Stockham.
The Yellow Rose of Texas was created in 1956 by Jim Courtright and William “Bill” Martin. The rose is hardy in Zones 7-10.
The Pink Parfait Rose was created by Craven C. Armitage.
It is a strong, disease-resistant rose that is also very beautiful.
The Yellow Parfait Rose was created by the same people who created the Pink Parfait Rose. BUT…this one is resistant to black spot and rust.
It is also resistant to cold weather.
The Westfield Rose was created by Westfield Nursery in Georgia. This rose is light-colored and very popular because of its good winter hardiness and disease resistance.
The Westfield Lavender Rose was created by the same people that created the Westfield Rose. It is a light-colored, lavender-colored rose.
Very pretty in the spring and summer.
Desert Rose Tips
Desert roses are some of the most beautiful around.
Sources & references used in this article:
Planting and Pruning Roses by HF Tate – 1956 – repository.arizona.edu
Pruning Rural Landscapes. by S Hatfield – … /Texas Agricultural Extension Service; no. 115., 1945 – oaktrust.library.tamu.edu
Desert landscaping: how to start and maintain a healthy landscape in the Southwest by G Brookbank – 1992 – books.google.com
An illustrated guide to pruning by EF Gilman – 2011 – books.google.com
Roses Without Chemicals: 150 Disease-Free Varieties That Will Change the Way You Grow Roses by PE Kukielski – 2015 – books.google.com