In the garden: rose pruning

Roses are a huge performer in my garden, they seem to love the red soil and don’t mind the bore water (too much). To keep them looking their best and to help prevent disease, they need a bit of TLC like deadheading to prolong flowers during the growing season and a hard prune in Winter.

I like to give mine a hard prune in late July. That way some of the new buds are easy to see to decide where to cut each branch and the frosts here are lightning off a little

Things to remember when pruning roses:

  • Cut by around a third to half and try to get an overall vase or ‘U’ shape.
  • Get rid of branches that are crossing each other or touching
  • Remove inside growing branches and dead wood.
  • Search for outward facing buds and cut a couple of cm above them. Cut on a slant so water doesn’t pool. The new growth will then grow outwards rather than inwards.
  • Remove all leaves and prunings to prevent the spreading of disease (and kneeling on a thorn!!)
  • I always come back a day or two later and have a quick look to see if I’ve missed any branches.
  • Give them a spray with lime sulphur to protect from disease. It stinks, so make sure the wind is in the right direction.
  • Mulch – if you can get your hands on some lucerne mulch – spread at a 5cm thickness.
  • Fertilise at first flush in Spring – I use Seasol (foliar spray) and slow release pellets.

 

The Pierre de Ronsard climbing rose is used to hide a rainwater tank. Image: Nat Salloum. 

Bush roses are VERY forgiving. I did them with a hedge trimmer one year 😬😬😬.. but nothing beats the secateurs!

Tip: If you are looking to increase the number of roses in your garden or love a particular rose, try taking cuttings from the prunings.

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