One of the beauties of Flower Carpet roses (also often referred to as Carpet roses), is that they don’t require any fancy pruning. Unlike most roses, you don’t have to worry about where you’re cutting along the stem or about pruning them any particular way. You can simply use pruners or even hedge clippers – which ever is easier for you. Just cut them back to about 1/3 of their size or more. Cutting them back will ensure a fuller and denser growth for the upcoming season, as well as loads of blooms.
When to cut them back . . .
The best time to cut back your Flower Carpet roses is in mid-winter to early spring, which depending upon your location, can be anytime between now and mid-April in the Northern Hemisphere and in June – July in the Southern Hemisphere.
If you live in a warmer climate you’ll probably be dealing with plants that are still green and possibly even still in bloom. Don’t worry though . . . pruning them will stimulate growth and generate more blooms. If you can easily identify any dead stems, cut those right back to the ground.
In colder climates, if it’s been a really harsh winter and depending on how much snow cover you’ve had, you may find that most branches have died back to about 3-4 inches from the ground. This is normal for USDA Zones 5 and colder. If that’s the case, you can cut them back to a few inches and they’ll still reward you with loads of blooms, starting around early summer and lasting through the first few frosts. Once they start to green up, you’ll be to identify any totally dead branches. Those can be cut back to ground level.
After pruning your Flower Carpets, pull away any old dead leaves and mulch to get rid of any soil fungal infestations. Give them a good feeding of controlled-release fertilizer or something like Espoma’s Rose Food and that’s all you’ll need to do to get them started for another season of blooms!
Don’t forget to check out our Caring for Flower Carpet in the Spring video for complete step-by-step instructions on spring care and pruning for your Flower Carpet roses and also a newer Flower Carpet Spring Care post with even more pruning details!