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Pruning roses

I HAVE "inherited" a large, overgrown rose garden. The roses need pruning - where should I start?

 

ROSE pruning is not as scary as it sounds and you'll soon get the hang of it. Start by purchasing a sharp pair of secateurs. If your roses haven't been pruned in some time, you may also need to invest in a good pruning saw to remove older, woody canes. Begin by removing any dead or diseased branches, then cut back any branches that are facing into the bush as well.

When pruning roses, aim for clean cuts on a 45 degree angle, sloping downwards from a healthy bud. Always cut back to outward-facing buds. Don't cut too high above the bud - a couple of millimetres is more than enough - or you could get dieback. A general rule of thumb when pruning roses is to remove up to one third of the plant. Don't be too worried though.

Despite all the bad publicity they get as "high maintenance" plants that require frequent spraying, roses are among some of the toughest of all garden plants. We've been growing them for centuries, after all.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 120, 2003, Page 29

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener


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