This is my second year growing roses at my house on Long Island Sound in CT. I planted a New Dawn last Spring which is thriving, but I am confused and overwhelmed by all of the different pruning instructions I have received. I am trying to train it to a support which goes up the side of the house, but this have proven to be quite challenging because there are so many canes. Can I cut them back? If so when? I have read to cut climbers down to 5 of the strongest canes after the first frost. I have also read that it is better to wait until Spring and not to cut back much at all. This is a Summer house so I will not be around when the first frost hits. Last year I cut everything back to about 3′ and tied everything together with twine. It didn’t seem to harm the plant at all, but I worry that about stimulating late season growth and encouraging the rose to be more of a tangle than it already is. Sorry for the long message; I would appreciate some advice. Many thanks.
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.