How to...

Prune Garden Roses

Roses are a popular addition to any garden but many gardeners struggle with when and how to prune their roses. Pruning is vital to improve flowering, maintain an attractive shape and keep them healthy.

 

Don't be scared about attempting to prune your roses this year, it is near impossible to kill a rose with bad pruning and becoming an accomplished rose pruner takes time and practice.

While there is a great deal of disagreement among rose experts regarding how and when to prune roses, it is generally agreed that most mistakes will grow out very quickly and it is better to make a good effort at pruning roses than to let them grow rampant.

Follow our easy guide to rose care and you'll be pruning perfectly in no time!

Each variety of rose needs to be pruned at a different time. Climbing roses should be pruned in autumn, shrub and bush roses in mid-spring and ramblers in late summer.

Prune climbing roses in autumn when the flowers have started to fade. Remove dead, diseased or dying branches and tie in new shoots. Remove old branches if the plant is heavily congested to stimulate new growth. Prune side branches cutting them back to leave two to three leaf buds.

Shrub roses need to be pruned in mid spring. Remove any dead, dying or diseased branches and thin out if it is becoming over-crowded. Remove crossing branches and other stems to the base and healthy stems by a quarter of their length.

Similarly, bush roses (Hybrid Tea Roses) need pruning in mid spring. Remove dead, diseased and dying branches and prune last year’s growth to half.

Finally, ramblers need to be pruned in late summer. Cut back side branches so there are 2 or 3 buds left. Cut any woody branches to the base to encourage new shoots to grow.

Once you have finished pruning your roses mulch your plants generously, applying a thick layer of well rotted manure or bark chippings.


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