The Best Time to Deadhead Drift Roses to Encourage Repeat Blooming

Regular deadheading (removal of spent blooms) of Drift Roses during the blooming season encourages repeat blooming and helps maintain a tidy appearance.

Although it’s not necessary to deadhead Drift Roses, removing the spent blooms makes them look so much more appealing and tidy looking.

Is It Necessary to Prune Drift Roses?

imageDrift Roses are a cross between full-size ground cover roses and miniature roses and are repeat bloomers. When it comes to pruning, Drift Roses do not have to be pruned, though they respond well to it. If you never prune Drift Roses, they will still bloom quite nicely.

Knockout roses pruning-2When Drift roses bloom they are spectacular but when the blooms die the small clusters of spent roses aren’t so appealing. They are kinda sad looking so I like to keep my rose bushes fresh looking by removing the spent roses.

The Best Time to Prune Drift Roses

Knockout roses pruning-9The first pruning of Drift Roses should be done in late Winter or very early Spring. This will lead to a beautiful first wave of blooms. After the first major flush of blooms in Spring, deadhead the Drift Roses by cutting back the flowering stems by about one-third their length. That pruning promotes bushy new growth and repeat blooming.

Deadheading can be repeated after every flush of blooms. Over the course of the growing season, the Drift Roses may grow significantly. If they become untidy or too large, prune back the flowering stems by two-thirds their length after they have bloomed. It’s a good idea to take a step back at the end to check the shrubs’ appearance, and then clip all other messy looking stems. I do not recommend pruning Drift Roses in the Fall or Winter.

Knockout roses pruning-4A second wave of blooming is about to begin. Ideally, I would have deadheaded the spent blooms several weeks ago, but it’s still okay to do it now, as new blooms are re appearing.

I am carefully pruning the deadhead stems from my roses, paying particular attention not to prune any new growth, cutting just above the new shoots. Is anyone else starting to hum a Grateful Dead tune just about now..or is that just me? Ramblin’ Rose is coming to mind…and yes I attended one or two Grateful Dead concerts back in the day 😉

Knockout roses pruning-8There are so many spent roses, and temps are in the 90’s the day I decide to prune. Out of 11 Drift Roses, I pruned only 4. I found the repeated up and down movement was making me dizzy so I went inside to cool off.

Knockout roses pruning-10It’s going to cool down to the 80’s at which time I will finish pruning the remainder of my Roses. I was so happy to see these adorable bright pink buds and blooms appearing.

Knockout roses pruning-11New buds and new shoots make me happy, an uplifting sign of rebirth. Hope they make you happy too.

Knockout roses pruning-13I am noticing a few holes in some of the leaves which is concerning..I’ll have to look into that and I’ll report back.

Until next time my friends…happy pruning!

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8 thoughts on “The Best Time to Deadhead Drift Roses to Encourage Repeat Blooming

  1. Denise, we have just one drift rose bush (we didn’t know how well we would like them) & this year it was in sad shape. We were told to cut it back (way back since we had not been cutting it like we should). Your information was so helpful to us & now we will cut it more often after it blooms. But not do it the fall as you said. Thanks. Wish we had more than one but probably not 14!! Stay cool.

    1. Hi Donna! I do love them and their little blooms but they do seem to be quite a bit of work to keep them looking their best. Yes 14!! 😬 I’m going to be pruning for days in this heat! Hope you’re doing well, good to hear from you!

  2. Wow – good luck with all that pruning! Your yard is lovely though, so it’s worth it, but don’t fall over in the heat my dear! Just think how lovely it will be when you can jump into your pool instead! 😉 Happy Weekend!

    1. That will be a lovely day my friend! At the moment it feels so far away, but once things get moving…I am hopeful they will go quickly. Happy Weekend!!😘

  3. Good info here and hope the holes you found were nothing major

    Pruning can be tricky and important –
    Especially for roses – good post!

    1. Thank you, glad you found it useful. Roses are beautiful but do require a fair amount of work to keep them looking their best.

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