Growing roses in Georgia is not like growing roses in Rhode Island or Washington state. When you purchase roses, look for varieties that are labeled "hardy in the South." Hybrid tea roses, floribunda, grandiflora and climbing roses require heavy pruning in June because their blooms grow on new wood only. Pruning helps control diseases such as black spot. Hardier varieties of roses, including the shrub roses, need less pruning and should be trimmed back in February.
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Clean pruning shears thoroughly with rubbing alcohol before pruning to avoid the transfer of plant diseases.
Remove all dead, diseased and crossing rose bush stems in June for most roses, and in February for shrub roses, with the pruning shears. Roses respond to pruning by producing larger and more attractive flowers, according to The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension's "Rose Culture for Georgia Gardeners" report.
Prune all other stems to 8 to 12 inches in height from the ground with sloping 60-degree diagonal cuts with the pruning shears for most roses in June. Prune shrub roses to maintain a compact appearance only in February. Climbing roses, The University of Georgia report states, require special pruning for profuse flowering. It recommends removing the oldest canes near ground level immediately after flowering; this will promote new shoot development.
Reduce the height of all rose bush stems except shrub roses by one-third after the flowering season to reduce root damage caused by wind rocking the plant.
Georgia area rose societies are a great resource for Georgia-specifc rose plant information.