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Pruning ground cover roses: Is summer pruning still useful now and can it encourage a second bloom?

The collective term “ground cover roses” includes several varieties of small shrubs that have one thing in common: The compact, blanket growth. When you should prune ground cover roses depends on the variety. We explain whether summer pruning is an option to encourage a second bloom, or whether you should wait until fall.

When should you prune ground cover roses: Does it make sense to prune now?

Cut ground cover roses faded flowers for second flowering

Ground cover roses are small shrubs that can reach a maximum growth height of 100 cm. As a rule, however, most varieties remain lower and grow to a height of around 60 cm. Thanks to their blanket spread in the garden , you can suppress weeds. Therefore, they prove to be a welcome alternative to lawns. Especially in the cottage garden, the small shrub roses cut a good figure.

As for flowering times, many ground cover rose varieties bloom two – to four times a year. Flowering continues into the fall. The perennials do not need regular pruning. This is done only when necessary.

Unlike other roses, ground cover roses are very tolerant of pruning. There are no set rules about how deep you should cut them, and the age of the shoots doesn’t matter for budding either.

Ground cover roses in summer: cut off withered flowers, encourage second blooming

Most groundcover roses do not need pruning to bloom a second time at summer’s end. However, if the faded material is not removed, blooming will slow down in August. So it pays to cut off the old blooms in early August. This cut is also recommended because withered flowers are entry points for bacteria and fungi.

By the way, ground cover roses should always be cut early in the morning. Water the plants a day before cutting, preferably from the bottom. Do not cut the plants when it is raining or when the leaves and flowers are wet. During long periods of heat, water the plants abundantly a week before pruning and protect them from the strong rays of the sun in the first days after pruning. Otherwise, you risk sunburn. Small shrubs recover quickly from a gentle summer pruning.

Prune ground cover roses: The variety “Snowflake” benefits from summer pruning

Ground cover variety snowflake in summer cut off old flowers

For the variety “Snowflake”, you should prune the shoots with wilted to the first pair of leaves. You do not need to regularly remove the withered flowers, it is completely sufficient to cut off the old flowers once in August. This variety is particularly fond of flowering and thanks you with a splendor of flowers that, with good care, will decorate the garden until October.

Cutting the variety “Fairy

The variety “Fairy” scores with a compact growth and a long flowering period. Similar to the variety “Snowflake”, you can cut off withered flowers in early August to encourage the next flowering. However, the most nurturing pruning is done in the spring when old, frozen and ailing shoots are completely removed. In addition to this, you can then thin out the perennials a bit if needed.

This is what you should keep in mind when pruning the variety “Gärtnerfreude

Cut ground cover roses in summer remove faded gardener's delight

The ground cover rose “Gärtnerfreude” first forms a flush of flowers in spring and then, if the wilted flowers are removed in early August, can bloom a second time in late summer and fall. In this case, too, shorten the shoots to the first pair of leaves.

Cut back ground cover roses: In the fall or in the spring?

When to cut ground cover roses instructions and tips for summer


Pruning in spring: all types of roses, whether large shrubs or small-growing varieties, tolerate pruning best in the spring. This should only be done when necessary, usually you need to do it every three years. This involves cutting all shoots to 20 cm (but do not cut into the old wood). Diseased, inward growing, frostbitten shoots or branches with sunburn (when pruning in the fall) are completely removed. Before pruning, check the plant thoroughly for pests and diseases. Dispose of prunings with household trash if you notice signs of infestation.

Pruning in the Fall: If the weather forecast is favorable for the next 30 days, then you can also prune back ground cover roses in the fall. The best time is right after the second bloom. This usually ends in September – October. Even if the particular variety is not sensitive to frost, you should not cut it back in late autumn. This is because the open cut wounds need time to close and the plant should be allowed to recover. After a week, you can mulch it so that the water does not evaporate too quickly.

Ground cover roses when to cut for second flowering what to consider (1)

Ground cover roses are a nice addition to the home garden. They are fairly low maintenance, bloom magnificently throughout the garden season, and some varieties also give off a pleasant fragrance in the evening. The beautiful roses are cut back and thinned out every three years. Once in the summer, shortly after the end of the first bloom, remove withered flowers to encourage new blooming.