A Face Lift for an Old Rose….

old rose bush

Picture an old rose bush that had been neglected over the years.  With new owners now in charge of the garden, this rose received much needed attention back in January.

Some of you may remember my post An Overgrown, Nameless Rose”  back in January.  This old rose bush graced the front garden of Double S Farms, which is where my mother, sister and her family are new residents.

old rose bush

 Unlike many rose bushes, this particular one continued to bloom without any help….no fertilizer, sprays or pruning.  But, there was a lot of dead growth and old canes (branches) that needed to be removed.  In other words, this rose bush needed a face lift.

old rose bush

When I finished pruning, this is what was left.  My mother, Pastor Farmer, may have been a little unprepared for how far back I had pruned her roses, but I assured her that this was essential for their health and that new growth would soon appear.

rose bush

Well, this is what they looked like this evening, just 9 weeks later, when we stopped by Double S Farms to celebrate both my husband and nephew’s birthdays.

The rose bushes are flush with new growth and there are no old canes (branches) to be seen anywhere.  I like to think of pruning as like giving a plant a face lift.  The results are usually remarkable and you don’t have to pay a lot of money like you would to a plastic surgeon 😉

rose bushes

For me, the icing on the cake was to see both of these formerly neglected rose bushes covered with rosebuds getting ready to open.

rose bushes

I can hardly wait….

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
25 replies
  1. Kathleen Scott
    Kathleen Scott says:

    How wonderful to inherit an antique rose bush! And a white-flowered variety at that.

    We go to the Antique Rose Emporium garden in San Antonio occasionally. They stock a variety of species hardy for this area, not just heritage roses. But the heritage roses have my heart. Discovered across Texas on graves and beside tumbled-down pioneer homes, these roses are lovely survivors.

    Unfortunately, deer LOVE roses, so my only roses are small bushes hidden among the rosemary. I'd love to have a Mutabilis and see three colors of blooms covering the bush like summer butterflies.

  2. Rose
    Rose says:

    You did a beautiful job, Noelle! Lol, I just had to pop in when I saw this title. Wish it were that easy to make this "old Rose" look young again:)

  3. Rosie
    Rosie says:

    Noelle I think you need to work some of that pruning magic over here on my roses. I have not even started to prune mine and as I look at them I see more dead wood than live wood.

    I am amazed at how quickly they have come into bud considering that there wasn't much left of them in January. Must be some good earth over on the farm.

  4. Bangchik
    Bangchik says:

    An old rose bush has gone through the test of time. A new attention will kick the zest into action. Let there be more blooms. ~bangchik

  5. Ami
    Ami says:

    Thanks for the update, Noelle! I went back read that older post! It is amazing a hair cut can do to an old rose! Looking forward to another update with them covered the flowers. I love white roses, so pure!

  6. Hocking Hills Gardener
    Hocking Hills Gardener says:

    Your Mom does look like she is wondering if it will live. LOL! It will be much healthier and prettier now. I love the white blooms if that is what it will look like. She may let you prune other things now LOL!

  7. James Missier
    James Missier says:

    The rose bud looks so big compared to the previous unpruned counterpart.

    Are the rose bloom bloomed bigger too?
    I guess you have pruned tonnes of them. Wished I had those cuttings in my garden (lol)

  8. tina
    tina says:

    You did a fabulous job! I remember that post and I tell you I'd be shocked too if I were your mother and saw my roses trimmed like that. They came out wonderfully and 9 short weeks has done them wonders.

  9. fairegarden
    fairegarden says:

    As soon as I saw this title, I was hoping it was an update about your rose pruning job shown previously. Your instructions were so clear and concise, I feel that sometimes people are intimidated by this task. Especially if it is a beloved old timer. Those new buds say it all. Well done, Noelle! 🙂

  10. FlowerLady
    FlowerLady says:

    I am one of those intimidated by pruning roses, so that some of mine tend to be straggly. Thanks for showing before and after pruning and now. What a lovely rose. Does it have a scent?


  11. Sylvana
    Sylvana says:

    It would have shocked me a little to see a couple of bushes that big cut back to a couple of sticks 🙂 They are so fresh and beautiful now though. What a great job pruning those bushes!

  12. West
    West says:

    Wow! You inspired a novice in Austin to get a Glamis Castle. And this post about the pruning was a wonderful education. Thanks!

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