Should I prune my ‘Zéphirine Drouhin’ rose in fall or spring? Also, this year it only bloomed once. What am I doing wrong? —Chris Binder, Oshkosh, WI
Rosa ‘Zéphirine Drouhin’ is a wonderful old Bourbon rose, medium pink in color and with a strong fragrance. Typical of Bourbons, it has a spectacular spring bloom. It takes good growing conditions for ‘Zéphirine Drouhin’ to bloom repeatedly through the summer and into the fall. The more sun, the better (minimum of 6 hours a day). It also needs adequate water and fertilization throughout the growing season.
Like most roses, ‘Zéphirine Drouhin’ can be pruned back in late fall or spring. In fall, tie the canes together with twine to keep them from blowing in the wind. For winter protection, mound about 10 inches of soil, peat moss, and mulch around the base of the rose. In spring, about the time forsythias bloom (generally around April 15 in your area), cut the canes back until you see good white pith.