How To Prune A Drift Rose Bush

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This article provides tips and instructions for pruning and deadheading Drift Roses
by Brett · All Zones · Pruning · 2 Comments · February 05, 2015 · 13,325 views

Described as groundcover roses, the Drift® series of roses was introduced by Conard Pyle in 2006. At the time of the writing of this article there are eight varieties in the Drift Series. All are a cross between full-size groundcover roses and miniatures, which makes them a great choice for small spaces. Like the low-maintence Knock Out shrub roses, the Drifts have demonstrated high resistance to the most common diseases that plague roses, such as powdery mildew, rust, and the dreaded black spot. I have all varieties growing in my own central Georgia landscape and they all bloom repeated in cycles throughout the growing season, taking short rests between each 5 to 6 week bloom cycle. My personal favorites are Red, Pink and one called "Sweet Drift," which has fully double blooms resembling Old English roses, but all varieties have performed nicely. They are best suited for planting in USDA Hardiness Zones 4-10.

When it comes to pruning, Drift roses do not have to be pruned, though they respond well to it. I have a brother who never prunes his Drift roses and they still perform and bloom quite well, though they grow somewhat larger than the ones in my landscape, which I prune every year.

When To Prune Drift Roses

Do hard pruning of your Drift Roses in early spring after the worst of winter is over but before new growth begins. Deadheading spent blooms can be done during the blooming season.

How To Prune Drift Roses

Hard Pruning - Hard pruning of Drift roses is easy, just make sure you wear some leather or rose-pruning gloves and use sharp hand pruners. To prune, simply cut them back hard, down to 4 to 6 inches from the ground. This is what I do and they respond very well to it. Remove and discard all cut plant parts. Once temperatures warm in early spring the plants will flush new growth and grow to the same or slightly larger size they were during the previous year. Research has shown that using a pruning sealer does no good and might even be harmful, so I never use it.

Bloom Season Pruning - Though not necessary, regular deadheading (removal of spent blooms) during the blooming season encourages re-blooming and helps maintain a tidy appearance. Simply use pruners or snips to cut away the spent blooms or bloom clusters.

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Keri Ellinger

Keri Ellinger · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Mid March here in Ohio, and I was going to prune my drift roses. But weather predictions are for snow and frost after I had planned on pruning. Will this hurt them at all? The plants are 4 years old, and this is the first time I've pruned. Thanks for your help!

5 years ago ·
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Judy Tyler

Judy Tyler · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Do I need to deadhead my drift roses after they Loom?

5 years ago ·
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