With springtime approaching, we are looking forward to longer periods of warmer days and hopefully a few rainy ones.

One garden activity we can do at this time is pruning our roses. For the old-fashioned roses (often called old garden roses, heritage roses, or antique roses) general thinning of weak or crowded growth can best be done in February or early March.

Shaping the plant and shortening the vigorous canes by one-fourth to one-third of their length can result in plants that are more attractive. However, prune most climbers and one-time bloomers after they flower in the spring and remove dead or damaged canes, plus one or two of the oldest canes to promote new cane growth.

In addition to late-winter pruning, cut the plants back moderately in mid-August. This practice, along with a light application of fertilizer and a thorough watering, can promote a good fall bloom.

Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, and Grandifloras are usually pruned down to 18 to 24 inches from the ground in the winter. Miniatures are pruned to a few inches above the ground.

For all types of roses, prune to maintain blooming and health.

Remove old blooms, or deadheads, as they fade to encourage increased flowering.

Prune off damaged, diseased or dead leaves, twigs, and blooms to encourage new, healthier growth.

Pull off heavily infested or damaged leaves resulting from black spot or insects to curtail disease and insect populations.