I live in Phoenix, Arizona and the high temp here has been around 100 lately. I've got a rose bush that is falling over my walkway to my front door. If I trim the bush in this hot weather, will it harm it?
Hardiness Zone: 11
Debbie from Phoenix, AZ
It really depends on two things, what type of rose it is, and how much "trimming" is deemed necessary to keep it from falling over your walkway. Shrub roses usually need minimal trimming, but when they do, they can be cut back anytime to shape the bush, reduce the size, or to increase air circulation. In your area, heavy pruning (for all types of roses) is best done in January, and light pruning (limited removal of old, dead, or crossing canes) is done in late August or early September.
Since you live in a hot climate, your roses are (for the most part) "on" nearly all the time. Every time a rose bush (or other shrub) is pruned, the natural response is for the plant to put out a new spurt of growth. In extreme heat (or cold) this new growth can quite literally be burned and the plant expends energy trying to send out new growth when it might otherwise be shutting down to conserve energy due to the high temperatures. For this reason, it's better to avoid mid-summer pruning and trimming unless it's absolutely necessary.
I would recommend finding a way to stake or support your roses for now and save the trimming until late August or early September when the temperatures cool a bit.
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