06 Jun How To Prune Roses
Roses need pruning, in fact, they love it!
WHEN SHOULD I PRUNE MY ROSES?
Most roses need pruning twice a year in summer and winter; and summer time is the easiest time of year. In summer, simply cut off any spent flowers a few centimeters below the flower – This is known as dead-heading the rose.
Winter, however, is much more aggressive. This can be known as the “June Prune” because it is always done in Winter. The idea is to try and time the pruning for after the frosts have gone, but just before Spring. Tricky, right? Although frosts can hinder new growth, don’t waste too much time stressing over the exact day you should prune your roses as growth will still come if your plant is healthy.
HOW DO I PRUNE MY ROSES?
A good “rule of thumb” is to cut down at least 30% of your current plant, trying to remove from the center of the bush to encourage circulation and the right shape for next season as the branches will grow in that direction. Aim for a 45 degree angle on the cut, making sure the angle is facing away from the bud. This will reduce rain and dew collecting in the stem and reduce the chances of fungal disease.
Make sure you always prune off any suckers (growth shooting up from below the bush head or from the root system). This is critical to maintain the nice shape but also ensure the plants energy goes into growing where you want it to. Additionally, cut off any dead branches back to the stem/branches with dead ends or rot on them.
When finished pruning make sure you remove all branches and off cuts from the ground, throw them in the bin. This will help to reduce the spread of disease. Do not compost them.
HOW DO I CARE FOR MY ROSES AFTER PRUNING?
After you have pruned your rose bush it is time to spray it with lime sulphur (or something similar) while there are no leaves or new growth to help stop scale and other fungal type diseases like black spot. You should also fertilise the area around the rose around the start of August while making sure your mulch is in good condition and nice and fresh. Then sit back and enjoy the flower show, boasting to anyone who will listen how your roses are better than Flemington on Cup Day!
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