In 1997, the World Federation of Rose Societies voted the Rosa Bonica the world's favourite rose. It is a small, compact shrub rose, well suited to the garden or patio. Minimal care and timely deadheading will produce masses of dainty pink flowers all summer and well into the fall. In addition to deadheading, the rose needs punning to keep it healthy and in control. Proper pruning opens up the plant to sunshine, shapes the plant and maintains it in the landscape.
Prune Bonica roses early in the spring while the plants are still dormant or just beginning to grow. Use clean, sharp cutters to avoid damage to the plant and the spread of disease. Make all cuts about 1/4 inch above a bud that faces outward. Slant the cut away from the bud at a 45-degree angle.
Check the canes for canker or other diseased areas. Remove all dead or diseased wood to the nearest healthy bud. The inside of the cane should be white and healthy with no signs of grey or brown wood.
Remove the oldest stems back to the crown. This encourages new, healthy growth that will promote more flowers.
Prune rose canes that cross or rub against each other. Remove all debris inside the plant. This will open up the plant to sunshine and air. Remove small or thin canes.
Choose three to five of the youngest, strongest canes evenly spaced around the plant. Leave these canes and remove the remaining wood.
Prune the remaining canes, removing about 1/3 of their height. Be sure to leave at least three to five healthy buds on each cane.
Apply wound sealant to protect the cuts from disease and cane borers. White glue also seals the cuts.
Remove all debris from around the plant. Check for the growth of suckers from the roots. Pinch off any suckers where they leave the root to prevent the plant from spreading.
Remove flowers as they die, before they can grow seed. This daily pruning, called deadheading, keeps the plant flowering through the season. Cut the stem back to an outward-facing bud above a five or seven leaf set. Leave the flowers on the plant in the late fall to start hardening off the plant for the winter.