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Roses are some of the most beautiful flowers and it's important to know how to prune them correctly. Read this guide to find out how!
Roses are great plants, providing flowers all through the gardening season, with decadent smells and colour bringing your garden to life. Whether you have one plant or an entire collection, roses will always be the centre of attention for many people.
Rose pruning tips can be mind-boggling, especially with so many variations on traditional techniques. If you want a few simple steps to keep your roses in peak condition, here’s an easy guide to so that you can cover the basics.
Pruning the main stems
Roses can get leggy very quickly and pruning should be done with a sharp pair of secateurs in January or February, just before new spring growth appears.
Make an angular cut on stems just above a bud so that water droplets run off and don’t introduce disease.
Cut main stems back so they’re only 30 cm (1 ft) or so off the ground. It might seem a little excessive, but it’ll encourage new growth and keep flowers where you can see them, instead of blooms being 10 feet in the air.
If you want to encourage low, shrubby bushes, leave only inward facing buds in place. Alternatively, leave only outside buds if you prefer wide spreading blooms for a more natural look.Photo credit: Dan Costin / Foter / CC BY
Pruning rotting stems
You don’t want to leave brown and rotting stems on a plant so remove large woody branches and dead twigs. Cut these back until you see white pith, stopping the spread of disease and encouraging new growth.
Cut pruned stems into smaller pieces before discarding. Take care if you’re composting material as wood and thorns can take a lot of time to decompose.