Woman pruning rose bushes with gloves on.

Rose bushes require fairly consistent maintenance. Roses that are happy, healthy and thriving can quickly become untamed and overgrown. If you need to trim back your roses, it’s important to wait until the right time of year. Read on to learn about the best time to prune rose bushes.

Wait Until Early Spring to Prune Rose Bushes

We recommend waiting until early spring to prune rose bushes, around the end of March. If you prune in the late winter, your roses may start to grow prematurely. When a new round of frost hits, all the nutrients the plants have pushed to the buds will be for nothing. By waiting until early spring, you allow the plant to direct as much nutrients as possible to new growth. This is ideal for long-term plant health.

Basic Steps for Rose Bush Pruning

Pruning methods vary by plant and location, but here are some general tips for rose pruning:

  • Wear gloves specifically designed for rose pruning to protect your arms. You may also want to wear a long sleeve shirt, tucked into the top of the gloves.
  • Remove dead wood and leaves left on the plant. You can tell if a stem is dead by cutting into it slightly. If it is brown, it’s dead. If it’s green, it’s still living.
  • Remove any weak growth on the plant. The general rule is to remove anything thinner than a pencil, but that may not be applicable for young plants.
  • Make all pruning cuts at a 45-degree angle to allow for water runoff.
  • Prune canes that are growing inward. Use bypass shears to cut about 1/2 inch above the bud eye. This is the bump on the stem where a leaf would form.
  • Clean up the ground after pruning to remove dead leaves, stems, and other debris.
  • If you’re training a climbing rose bush, attach it to the lattice with a loosely-tied zip tie. The canes should be pointed at a 45-degree angle, not straight up and down.

These are surface-level suggestions for rose pruning, and they may not work for every plant. If you’d like professional rose bush maintenance from a horticulturist, contact the experts at Berns Landscaping: 586-756-1145.

Rose Bush Pruning in the Summer and Fall

In the summer, trim any dead flowers on your rose bush. This will help direct nutrients to the other buds waiting to blossom. When the fall months set in, you can trim long stems to protect them from the wind. This will also prevent them from breaking in the winter. Don’t do too much pruning in the fall, or you may encourage a new round of growth. The remaining cleanup pruning can wait until the following spring.  

Get Complete Rose Bush Care from Berns Landscaping

Berns Landscaping offers professional rose pruning, bed care, estate gardening, and garden maintenance services. Our multi-talented staff of specialists knows how to properly care for each plant through each season. You’ll receive personalized, hassle-free care from a trusted team of landscaping professionals. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact Berns Landscaping at 586-756-1145.

Berns Landscaping
23500 Blackstone Ave
Warren, Michigan 48089

Together, we are facing a truly unprecedented situation. The global coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of our families, our businesses, our communities, and our way of life. We are taking stringent measures to ensure the health and safety of our staff and their families and our clients. While the scale of impact remains unknown we will continue to do what we can to make a difference.

We will continue to work from home and help our clients in anyway that we can. We are currently doing FaceTime and zoom conference calling to converse and discuss landscape maintenance as well as landscape enhancements.

These are some of our current practices:

  • Training and reminding team members to practice safe social distancing
  • Team members are directed to stay home if sick or if a family member is sick
  • Truck and equipment operator stations are being cleaned and sanitized regularly
  • Shared office and shop areas are being cleaned and sanitized regularly
  • Office staff are working remotely whenever practical

Because we do not operate in a typical office setting, we do not expect our operations to be directly impacted for long. The grass is turning green and will be in need of mowing very soon. Our management team continues to order materials and fill our production schedule and our production staff is ready to execute the work as soon as restrictions are lifted. It is spring time: our schedule is filling and our phones are ringing!

During our 38-year history, Berns Landscaping Services has overcome many challenges and always emerges stronger and with a more refined focus. Along with you, we will persevere through this challenge, too.


Jim Berns!

Founder and President

Berns Landscaping

(586) 756-1145 

What Is Dethatching? Mechanical Dethatching vs. Natural Dethatching

Dethatching is a necessary step in the lawncare and landscape maintenance process. This service removes the dead layer of grass blocking water from soaking into the soil. There are different types of dethatching services, and some are more effective than others. Let’s take a closer look at what dethatching is.

What Is Thatch? What Does Dethatching Do?

Thatch is a layer of dead grass right above the soil. This develops when the lawn produces debris faster than it can break down. Grass natural feeds itself, to a degree, and the debris created puts nutrients back into the soil. However, if the dead layer builds up too thick, it can prevent water and other nutrients from properly penetrating the ground.

Dethatching reduces the thickness of the thatch to revitalize the turf. This gets rid of that tough barrier that’s blocking your soil from getting ‘the good stuff.’ Think of dethatching as an exfoliation process, preparing your lawn for a healthy growing season.

Types of Dethatching: Mechanical vs. Natural

The two most common forms of dethatching are mechanical and natural. Mechanical dethatching uses a machine to rake the lawn and remove the thatch. Natural dethatching involves an organic spray that covers the entire lawn. The spray breaks down the thatch naturally, releasing the nutrients back into the ground.

At Berns Landscaping, we use natural dethatching in our landscaping services. Mechanical dethatching may seem more effective at first glance, but it only removes about 10% of the thatch layer. It damages the lawn, creates more debris to clean, and it costs more to do! Why pay more for a less effective service? You can have thick turf, nutrient-rich soil, and superior plant health, as long as you take the right steps with lawn care.

How Often Should You Dethatch Your Lawn?

For most properties, dethatching happens once a year. However, dethatching is not always necessary, or it may be required more often in certain areas. This is one of the reasons we conduct a soil test once every three years. It allows us to evaluate the thatch layer and determine how thick it is. Once the thatch is thicker than 1/8th of an inch, we will recommend natural dethatching.

To find out if dethatching is right for your property, contact Berns Landscaping at 586-756-1145.

Berns Landscaping
23500 Blackstone Ave
Warren, Michigan 48089



10 Signs of Poor Plant Health

Whether you have a small garden bed or a lavish outdoor oasis, you want your plants to be healthy. How can you tell if a plant is healthy, and when should you take action for an unhealthy plant? In this guide from Berns Landscaping, we’ll explore 10 common signs of declining plant health, along with tips to revitalize your landscaping.

Common Signs of Declining Plant Health

The signs of poor plant health will vary from one plant to the next. For instance, a shrub will have different signs than an evergreen tree, and rose bushes will have different signs than ornamental grass. In general, look for changes in your plant from the year prior. Does the plant look like a different color? Has its shape changed significantly? Is it losing leaves when it should be flourishing? If so, you may need to take steps to improve your plant health.

Warning signs of unhealthy plants include:

  • Wilting
  • Change in color (a green plant now looks yellow or brown)
  • Dropping leaves or needles without explanation
  • Brown splotches that look like paint splatter
  • Brittle leaves
  • White powdery growth on the leaves
  • Uncharacteristically slow growth (a fast-growing plant is not growing much)
  • Leaves with an abnormal color pattern
  • Limp leaves
  • Scorched leaves (the tips look like they have been burned)

When Do Plants Start Showing Signs of Decline?

Most plants will come out of dormancy when the weather warms up – anywhere from 45°F to 60°F. Before then, you may not notice signs of poor plant health because the plant has not started to blossom. The blooming temperature varies from one plant to the next. As a good rule of thumb, look over your plants once it has been 60°F for two or three weeks. If your plants still have not perked up by then, consider taking action.

How to Get Your Plants Healthy Again

The cause of declining plant health could be anything from too much sun exposure to disease, pests or improper watering. There is no blanket answer for how to improve plant health because every plant has unique needs. If you would like a professional diagnosis of your plant health, contact the experts at Berns Landscaping. Our horticulturists can pinpoint the exact cause of plant health issues and provide a precise remedy for the issue. From there, we can arrange a grounds maintenance plan to rejuvenate your landscaping and keep it looking its best.

Berns Landscaping
23500 Blackstone Ave
Warren, Michigan 48089

Contact us at 586-756-1145 to schedule a consultation with a horticulturist.  


Beautiful manicured lawn by Berns Landscaping.

The first day of spring is quickly approaching, which means it’s time to start planning your spring lawn care. Even if your yard is covered in snow right now, the grass below the surface is preparing for its debut. Check out these spring lawn care tips from Berns Landscaping to keep your yard looking its best.

1 – Rake the Surface of Your Lawn

It’s important to rake the surface of your lawn once the winter snow melts. This will remove any leaves and dead grass remaining from autumn, and it will loosen matted areas caused by snow mold. Raking will help your lawn grow in smoother, just like vacuuming revitalizes your carpet inside. Wait for a day when the ground is fairly dry. The rake will grow across the surface easily, making it less likely to damage your grass.

2 – Buy Annual Plants Early in the Spring

Annual plants, like petunias and pansies, must be replanted once a year. These flowers can add beautiful bursts of color to your yard, and they signify the start of spring. Because annual plants are in high demand, they tend to sell out early in the season. It’s best to plan for your spring florals as quickly as possible if you want a large selection. One of the award-winning landscape designers at Berns Landscaping would be happy to create a spring landscaping plan for you. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

3 – Fertilize after the Grass Starts Greening

Timing is critical for fertilization. Applying fertilizer too early may feed the weeds instead of your grass, which will require more maintenance in the summer months. If you wait too long though, you miss out on peak growth times for a lush lawn. We recommend waiting about three weeks after your grass turns green. This will be after a couple mowings, when your yard is beginning to blossom. If you have a lawn maintenance plan with Berns Landscaping, we can arrange fertilization at the ideal time for your yard. We have certified fertilization specialists on staff to assist you.

4 – Aerate Your Lawn

If you did not aerate your lawn in the fall, you still have a chance in the spring. Aeration is a process that puts small holes in the surface of your soil. This loosens compacted soil and creates paths for water, air, and vital nutrients. Your grass and plant roots will grow stronger, deeper and fuller with an optimal flow of nutrients. With this simple step, you can significantly improve the health of your lawn.

5 – Mow Your Yard Weekly during the Spring

In the spring months, you may need to mow your yard once a week to keep your grass lush and strong. A study from Michigan State University shows that the ideal turf height is between 2 inches and 3.75 inches. This ensures that the grass has a mature root system and enough shade to keep weeds at bay. The university recommends mowing as frequently as every 4-5 days, but weekly lawn care is sufficient in most circumstances. 

Get an Annual Maintenance Plan to Preserve Your Landscaping

Your spring lawn care needs are unique to your property, your current landscaping features, your future landscaping goals, and more. With an annual landscaping maintenance plan, you can preserve your lush yard all year long. Berns Landscaping provides estate gardening, residential landscaping, commercial landscaping, spring landscape cleanup, tree pruning, and many other services. Give us a call at (586) 756-1145 to speak with a landscaping expert near you.



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