PRUNING MODERN SHRUB ROSES
Around the time forsythias start blooming, or when you see the leaf buds swell on your rose plants, it is time to clean them up. Start by pulling away and destroying any mulch that has built up around the plant. This mulch can harbor insects and disease. With a SHARP pruner, remove old, dead wood about a 1/2″ above the ground. Due to the fact that we live in a cold climate,
most of these roses will die back to within a few inches of the base of the plant. Regardless of how far dieback is, you will still want to prune those stems back to about 6″. This prevents spindly stems. Cut back the green stems above an outward facing bud on an angle. After pruning, fertilize them with a recommended rose fertilizer. One that Trees Today Nursery sells and recommends is Fertilome Rose and Flower Food with Systemic Insecticide.