Their last haircut

R. 'Buff Beauty' in bud
R. 'Buff Beauty' in bud

If you live in Oklahoma or anywhere surrounding, it’s time to deadhead the roses one last time.  I like to think of it as their final haircut before season’s end.  I trimmed the lovely ‘Sophy’s Rose’ yesterday, and, like a minor miracle, she has already unfurled new rusty-red foliage.

Bronzed red foliage on 'Sophy's Rose'
Bronzed red foliage on 'Sophy's Rose'

It’s approximately two months before the first freeze, so if you do this little chore now, you’ll have another month of bright blooms.  Even if the roses have begun making hips, you can still cut these off, and it won’t hurt the plant.  The same holds true for other shrubs too like spirea (especially if you got overzealous with the torch while eliminating Bermuda grass from the gravel paths).

Spiraea X bumulda 'Anthony Waterer' caught unaware
Spiraea X bumulda 'Anthony Waterer' caught unaware

Don’t wait much longer, or you will damage these doyennes of the mixed herbaceous border, because, come frost, they will retain the tender foliage of youth.  Instead, after another blooming month, let them harden off and pull their creative juices down into older canes and roots preparing for a long winter’s rest.

R. 'Carefree Beauty'
The incomparable loveliness of R. 'Carefree Beauty'

We, Southerners (Oklahoma is often considered mid-south). are blessed with such a long bloom season, and with all of the rain that lately fell, you still have plenty of time to enjoy the blooms brought about by your handiwork.

'Graham Thomas' poses against a cloudy sky
'Graham Thomas' poses against a cloudy sky

For those of my friends further south, perhaps, you can also revamp your roses, perennials and other shrubs now.  I don’t know how badly you’ve been affected by the long and terrible drought, but you’ve been on my heart as you faced your endless summer.  I’ve also thought about my northern friends whose summer, with its cooler than usual temperatures, just seems to have started earlier this month.

Still, grab your Felcos, your Coronas (no, you won’t need limes until later), your Bahcos (I also hear the Hidas are nice), whichever you prefer, and get to trimming those perennials and shrubs.  When the kinder September and October sun shows his face, you will bask in his rays while adoring the flowers you helped bring forth.


  1. Kate says:

    Dear Dee,
    The Graham Thomas rose is a beautiful shot. I can see you're having fun with that camera!

    1. Thanks Kate. I do love my camera. I never had so much fun.~~Dee

  2. crm says:

    Well I am here in Oklahoma and new to this site, I have been trying to the Flowering Carpet roses for fall planting, do you know of a place in Tulsa or Oklahoma City area I can find these?

  3. Thanks for a reminder on the roses. I have been meaning to deadhead again; I guess I need to put it on the schedule. I really enjoy your blog.

    1. You're so welcome and thank you too.~~Dee

  4. Frances says:

    Hi Dee, your roses are so cheering and beautiful, no matter how harsh your weather is. Buff Beauty is one that I have always admired. I just read that we should fertilize the roses now too, do you do that? It seems so late. I like seeing the hips over winter, and am just lazy so don't do much to the roses except that hard prune on Valentine's Day. I need to follow your instructions! 🙂

    1. Hi Frances, sometimes I go ahead and fertilize them. Sometimes I don't. I did put some Ladybug juice on Zephirine Droughin because she is a fertilizer hog. I like the hips in winter too, and there should be enough time for them to make more hips.~~Dee

  5. i am happy to see the roses blooming on your side. in our climate they only bloom well in spring. great pics.

    1. Hi Muhammad, thanks for stopping by. I wonder if the heat of your
      climate causes them not to bloom in fall. Hmmm . . . . ~~Dee


  6. Martha says:

    Oh, what a joy it has been to garden in Oklahoma this year.
    Your photos are terrific, Dee, and represent the beautiful results you always have.

    Thanks for the good advice on the rose care.

  7. Pam/Digging says:

    I trimmed off my roses' heat-burnt foliage last week just to make them look better. I'm holding off on feeding them though. It just seems cruel to expect them to burst into bloom when it's still 100 degrees out down here.

    1. Hi Pam, I would hold off too. I'll feed mine some compost and alfalfa one more time before the season is over.~~Dee

  8. Jean says:

    I tend to deadhead all season long so I'm ready for the fall rose season now! I'm hoping the recent rains will bring it on. Your roses look lovely but I do feel sorry for your spirea! 🙂

    1. Me too Jean, except that when it is so hot, all of my stuff slows way down. That's excepting the Rainbow Knockout roses. They bloom all summer except that their heat-faded blooms are really ugly at the height of summer.~~Dee

  9. Gail says:

    The heat is back on here in Tennessee's Middle South…our summer temps aren't over but we can clearly see the decline of summer….I'll clip the two sweet roses I have and see how they look! Thanks dee…I know so little about roses~~gail

    1. Yes, Gail, ours was back for a couple of days too, but I agree, it just doesn't seem to have the intensity of mid-summer when I felt like I would melt while tending the garden.~~Dee

  10. The heat has come and gone from Chicagoland. Not that we might not get 80s again, but I think we’ve seen the last of the 90s for year. So I’ll be leaving the last 2 hips on my ‘Carefree Beauty’ Rose. First frost here might be only a month away.
    .-= Mr. McGregor’s Daughter´s last blog ..Spotlight on Spikenard =-.

    1. Hard to believe that frost is a mere month away in your neck of the woods. Just shows how big this country truly is.~~Dee

  11. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Heck, I would be happy just to be able to get out there and deadhead…

    1. Too much rain, Lisa?~~Dee

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