Did you know July is the month for pruning your roses? Okay, there are some exceptions. If you love growing roses and want to know more about when and how you go about pruning roses, read on!
1. It is not advised to go pruning roses in July if your roses usually have one single massed flowering in spring. These types of roses often include old-fashioned roses and most climbing roses. In this instance you should wait until after they have finished flowering, then cut them back.
2. In cold districts, it is often better to wait until around early August to prune, when there is less risk of new growth being damaged by frost.
Why Prune? Roses respond really well to a prune. Pruning stimulates new growth, plus it also tidies them up. Roses can look a bit shabby otherwise!
Techniques and Tools for Pruning Roses
- Good quality gardening gloves to protect your hands from thorns.
- Clean, sharp secateurs.
- Small saw with a narrow blade that curves slightly (easier to manoeuvre inside the bush).
- Lime sulphur (eg. Yates) and a good sprayer to apply.
Parts to Prune
- Cut out weak, spindly, criss-crossing or dead stems.
- If established, consider removing some of the oldest stems, sawing the old, dark brown stems off cleanly at their base.
- Remove remaining stems back to a few buds above where last year’s growth began. The topmost bud that remains after pruning should be facing afterwards.
Stand back and assess. Does the remaining wood seem healthy and vigorous? Is the centre of the bush nice and open so that the sun and air can get right into it?
Completing the Job
Spray the whole roses and the soil beneath the bush with lime sulphur. This helps to remove rose scale from stems and destroy fungal spores lingering in the soil. A good layer of organic mulch over the root area is also a good idea, but don’t let it come into direct contact with the rose’s trunk.
In warm climates, before applying the mulch, spread some Dynamic Lifter Advanced for Roses or some Thrive Granular Rose Food. However, in frosty areas, it’s best to wait until the last frosts are over before feeding the roses.
Sources and Photo Credits