QUESTION: Dear Diana and Graham,
Yesterday whilst pruning standard Iceberg roses I noticed that they were weeping rather profusely just after I had started.
They had not been pruned very well for 6 years and were in a bit of a tangle and mess just above the graft sight.
These roses had not defoliated and were in an open west facing bed with river rocks as mulch. We have had several frosts in Wangaratta so I thought end of July would be ok to prune them. I work as a garden contractor and have my own business. I have been pruning roses for many years with no problems.
However I was surprised by this weeping response and virtually a complete set of foliage.
Is this ok/ normal?
I would appreciate your thoughts.
Cheers Kirsty, Wangaratta

ANSWER: Hi Kristy … I don’t know whether you get my weekly rose rambler but I have been talking for weeks now about how ‘late’ the season is and less than 6 weeks ago, we visited our grower at Kalangadoo (SA border near Penola) and our standard roses were still flowering and fully in foliage!  There was no way we could take those roses out of the ground so our customers had to wait … it has caused grief for some – most especially those who purchase and pay on the internet store – they pay, they want NOW!

Feel it this morning … it’s like a Spring/Summer morning …???
Now, about your issue with the Iceberg you pruned yesterday … I did a massive prune on my Iceberg hedge about four weeks ago and yes, there was that weeping too …. I pruned 3/4 of the hedge because yes, I wanted to see what may occur with frosts still very possible – checked those bushes on Wed/Thur and they’re all fine – no indication of frost burn and we’ve had minus 4 since the pruning!  The buds which I pruned to are still viable and swelling as normal too.

The weeping that you have experienced during this pruning I consider quite normal considering that there was a lot of foliage on the plants – an indication of sap still flowing and not to worry about!  You will notice same when you do a rather severe summer prune when say, you might want to re-locate a rose and to do so, you need to reduce the size of the plant to make it possible to lift it from the ground.
Press on with the pruning!  Enjoy! Diana

QUESTION: Dear Diana and Graham

Thanks Diana, I certainly do get the Rose Rambler emailed and read it with gusto.

There’s not much I can do about the Icebergs as the Client is always right. Going to Norway in 3 weeks time so must get them all pruned before I leave, just Mother Nature challenging us. It will be interesting to see plants north of the Arctic circle. Can’t wait.
Thanks for your support.

ANSWER: Thanks Kirsty … you’ll see heaps of Rugosa roses … right down to the beaches and in roadside plantings everywhere … spectacular greenery with flowers!!!  Shame we don’t do it here instead of all the grassy/weedy plants we use!!!!????  Enjoy your adventure!  Cheers … Diana

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