THE CORRECT METHOD FOR PRUNING ROSES

Newly planted maiden roses, that is one-year trees as received from the nursery, are best pruned hard back towards the end of March. If there are any under-sized stems these should be cut right down to their base, and the stout stems should be cut back to an outward-pointing bud leaving about 6 in. of strong stem showing above the ground. New growths will appear from these buds to make a shapely tree as it develops in the future. The same treatment applies to standard roses, which are usually pruned a week or two later. Newly planted climbing roses should not be pruned, the tip of each shoot merely being cut back to a bud.

Established bush roses – hybrid teas which have been grow- ing in the garden for two years or more are not usually cut hard back as was once considered desirable. Moderate pruning is sufficient for most varieties, but vigorous growers such as ‘Peace1 do better when only lightly pruned. Gardening is not an exact science like mathematics and one cannot lay down hard and fast rules for the pruning of all types of roses. Generally speaking on light soil less pruning will be necessary. Moderate pruning consists of cutting out misplaced – inward growing -shoots and weak growths, leaving the main strong stems, which are cut back by a foot or so to an outward-pointing bud, leaving perhaps 18 in. of each main growth on the tree.

Established floribunda roses, which used to be called poly-antha roses, are also usually pruned moderately.

Climbing and rambler roses should have been pruned after flowering. If this was not done, it may be done in March.

Ramblers normally produce plenty of new growths from the base climbers very few or in some years none at all. Prune ramblers by cutting out the old stems and tying in new ones to take their place. Shorten the main stems by about 6 in. and shorten the side shoots bv 2 or 3 ins.

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