It’s that time of year people! Get out there and prune those roses, if you have any that is. It’s not that hard although I’m sure there’s plenty of books to confuse you or people as well. Someone always has the perfect way to prune a rose or an opinion about it. You know don’t do it today because the moon hasn’t reached its apex in the third quarter of the sky behind the constellation Scorpius, or something like that. Hmmm! The only guide I will give you is, prune them sometime in June/July when there dormant. You should be able to get a couple done in that timeframe.
Rose Pruning Rules
Rules you say! what?
I have three golden rules that I work by when pruning and no it’s not the perfect way to prune roses, it just works for me.
Rule 1: Always prune to an outward facing bud. This gives the plant the classic vase shape(centre of the plant will be open[not congested]) which= more air circulation through the plant which=less disease and fungal problems.
Rule 2: Always cut out any dead wood in the plant. This speaks for itself. Deadwood doesn’t contribute anything.
Rule 3: Always prune hard!! Don’t be shy, they will reward you in spring if you prune hard now. As an example, if a rose is 1.5m tall-I will prune it to about 30-50cm tall. If its 2m tall I will still prune it down to 30-50cm( I’m talking about shrubs here, not climbers.
Rule 4: Rule 4 you say, you said you had three rules. Yes I know, just bear with me please. Never prune roses that only flower in spring ever in winter. Why? Because you have just pruned off all the wood that will provide the flowers for springtime. Major major disappointment, you will have to wait a whole year for it to flower. These roses can be pruned straight after they flower in springtime before they put on any new growth.
Rule 5: Just get out there and enjoy yourself. Have a go, don’t worry you will find it very difficult to kill a rose, and they are very forgiving even if you do make a hash of it. Enjoy the sunshine if its out, don’t worry about the cold, get cracking.
Well, here we have a willing subject. Left photo is before its haircut, and the right photo is after of course. Thanks Eglantyne.
Now here is a standard, before and after. Thanks Mother’s Love.
Remember to keep the base of the plant always clear of mulch, leaves and whatever else there may be. particularly in winter when wet conditions can cause rotting on the trunks
For groundcover roses I just use a pair of hedge shears and hack away at it. My rules just go out the window!
Once flowering roses may need a tidy up in winter, ie removal of dead wood only or a branch here and there if they are scraping your car.
Climbers may need to be tied back against structures not so much heavy pruning for them either, just a clean up may do or not!
Remember, ENJOY! Its fun, well I think it is….
Here’s some more willing subjects
Here are some bases that have been hacked and cleaned
I’ve gone to my good friend ‘The Knight’ just to finish this post off, before and after shots of course. There wasn’t much complaining either, not sure why?