The Rose Garden Corral

Mar 18, 2024

The Rose Garden Corral

Mar 18, 2024


Rose lovers who live in the Napa County area are used to fairly mild Winters.  In December many of the roses in our yards, as well as those at the Fuller Park Rose Garden, still had leaves and even some buds that were managing to find the sun. Some people found themselves in a quandary, “the bushes still look pretty good and some even have flowers. What to do?!”

In January the decision was wisely made in the Fuller Park Rose Garden that we had to cut back (prune) branches to about 18-24” height and clean up all the leaves and debris on the ground around the bushes.  Mulch was added. If there was a problem with black spots or fungus we could apply dormant spray to reduce an outbreak of the disease when the bushes start their new cycle of growth. The photo of the “Rose Garden Corral” above, captures the start of the new year for roses in the Fuller Park Rose Garden.

In February there were hints of new growth, so we did some “thumb pruning” which is accomplished by pinching off any new growth that is pointed into the center of the bushes or less than 12” from the ground using small shears or just our thumbs to remove the unwanted growth.

In March our winter care and diligence paid off with lush new foliage and hints of new buds starting to grow. We continued to remove any new growth below the 12” height and any new branches that crossed awkwardly and touching more vertical stems and branches. Checking to see the condition of the drip system was also done. We also identified any bushes that were struggling because of winter problems such as: drowning in low lying areas, damage from wind, rats, deer, or damaged irrigation lines.

The good news is that even in some very harsh environments, Roses are hard to kill so even if the bushes look battered, give them a chance to fight back.

Next month we will cover April along with pest and disease management. If you have questions about the Fuller Park Rose Garden and the Master Gardeners who maintain the garden, M.G.'s are usually in the Garden the first Sunday and third Thursday of each month between 10:00 am and noon, weather permitting.

Rose Garden

Napa Master Gardeners are available to answer garden questions by email: or phone at 707-253-4143.  Volunteers will get back to you after they research answers to your questions.

Visit our website: to find answers to all of your horticultural questions.

Photo credits: Bob Niklewicz