thorny question of rose pruning
The whys and wherefores
of rose pruning, and winter care.
Winter is rose pruning
time, and rose pruning´s a subject that always leads to a
lot of questions from home gardeners.
explains why it's necessary and how go about it.
Why prune roses?
Because most roses flower
on new wood, and pruning encourages the development of healthy new
Which roses are pruned
Bush roses (shrub-sized
or miniature) and standards that flower throughout spring, summer
Which roses aren´t
pruned in winter?
Roses that only bloom
in spring e.g., Banksia roses, or certain types of climbing
roses. Spring-flowering bloomers are pruned immediately after flowering
has finished. This gives the plant time to develop its new flowering
Most climbing roses are
pruned in mid summer, but newly planted climbers shouldn´t
be pruned for the first two or three years. They need at least this
amount of time to grow to flowering stage.
Guidelines For Winter
- Established roses
can be cut back by at least half. Young, growing roses should
be pruned with less vigour.
- Remove any shoots
that are obviously dead.
- Remove spindly growth
and crisscrossing branches.
- Cut out any very old
shoots. Remove these by sawing off at the base.
- Make each cut just
above an outward facing bud.
- Always use clean,
sharp secateurs, and a saw to make larger cuts.
- If you live in a cold
area, wait until August to prune.
- If suckers are growing
from the rootstock (i.e., from below the graft) it´s best
to remove these by clearing away the soil at the base, exposing
the section where the rootstock is shooting from the base, and
pulling it off. Leave the section uncovered for a few hours until
it dries and then replace the soil.
- Clean up all the prunings
and try to gather all the fallen leaves that are under the bush.
Last of all comes the
insurance policy. This takes the form of a clean-up spray with,
say, Yates Lime Sulphur. Lime Sulphur can burn rose leaves during
their growing season but, if applied immediately after pruning (while
the plants are still leafless), it can be used at twice the summertime
Spray the Lime Sulphur
solution over the entire rose plant and also onto the soil beneath
the bush. This will help to get rid of any fungal disease (especially
rose black spot) spores that are lurking in the soil, and will also
clean up the white rose scale that´s often found clinging
to the main stems and branches.
After pruning, fertilise
with some organic Dynamic Lifter pellets and then, in a few weeks
time, sprinkle some Gro-Plus for Roses around the base of each plant.
Water in well.