This is a great time of year for roses in our Arizona desert, but it's also pruning time. As much as I hate to do it, I'm going to have to cut them back and strip the leaves in preparation for spring. We have not yet had any frost, so the roses have really had prolific blooms lately. 'Lady Elsie May', a repeat blooming shrub rose is my latest rose bush. It is the only one that I won't be doing any heavy pruning on, but it's still going to get a good haircut! I'm taking a chance on this rose--I'm not sure if it will do well in our summer heat.
Rosa 'Queen Elizabeth'
Rosa 'Hello Dolly'
Rosa 'Gold Glow
Rosa 'Red Intrepid'
We have already pruned back all the Red Birds of Paradise and the Lantana shrubs will soon be cut back to the ground. Both will come back around March 1-15. This year we didn't get to cutting back the Purple Fountain Grass. Last year, the grass had a hard time coming back after pruning. These shrubs are now very dense and they actually need to be thinned drastically. I've tried that last year, but all I got this past summer was a dead middle and some puny plumes on the outside perimeter of the plants.
I'm also very disappointed in the Texas Sage shrubs. They really look bad--to the point I'm considering just taking them all out. I don't know what went wrong this year; perhaps the fact that we ended the year with less than half the expected average rainfall for the region. I did give all the landscape shrubs supplemental water in the heat of summer, but maybe not enough. Even with the cooler weather, they just look dry and sparse and just plain ugly. With my landscape maturing and filling in, I could do without these anyway.