Pruning A Tree Rose & Dividing Artichokes

Question:

The bottom branches of my tree roses have extended out into the walkway. I'd like to minimize the interference by pruning them back. How far back can they be pruned?

Answer:

  • Tree roses are pruned just like bush roses with one exception, there is a fair amount of bending over with bush roses while you’ll remain upright with a tree rose.
    • The first thing you need to do is locate the bud union. The bud union is the location where the named rose variety is attached or budded onto a rootstock. With tree roses, you’ll have several bud unions.
      • The first one is near the ground while the second one-forms the straight stem and resembles a broomstick. The desired variety is budded three to four feet off the ground at the top of the bud.
      • You must identify this point before pruning to avoid cutting off the valuable and irreplaceable portion of the rose.
      • The shoots that develop below the bud unions should be removed periodically throughout the year, as it is sucker or rogue growth. This growth is typical with all budded roses.
  • With the intruding lower branches, it’s a judgment call on your part as far as how far back to prune them. It can be twelve inches to several feet depending on the situation.
  • Usually, roses are pruned to an outside bud, so the new canes or growth form a circle that grows away from the center of the bush.
  • In this case, you deviate from that and select those buds that’ll grow laterally to either the left or right. You'll find the growth buds where a leaf is or has been attached to a stem and is usually a red color.
  • You continue to repeat this throughout the year when you remove the spent flowers.
  • It might be helpful to take a few digital pictures before and after. These images allow you review what you did so you can repeat or modify things in the future.

Question:

How would I go about dividing my Artichoke plant?  I planted one several years ago and its massive now.

Answer:

  • Dividing an Artichoke plant is not that difficult.
  • You’ll need a shovel to dig up the clump, and an ax or pruning saw to segment it.
    • A mature Artichoke plant is divided into three or more parts depending on the size and replanted.
    • If you can't accommodate all the plants, save the biggest and give the others away.
    • Next, you amend the new planting hole(s) with generous amounts of homemade compost or soil conditioner.
  •  Artichokes are planted in the full sun or afternoon shade in the warm inland areas.
  • The clumps are divided every three to four years to keep the production high.
  • Besides planting them in the ground, Artichokes make an excellent container plant. The silver-gray foliage is a colorful backdrop on a deck, patio or balcony. You can also add Pansies, Violas, Alyssum or Marigolds for additional color.