Be careful when you prune Californian lilacs. They need shaping up but might refuse to produce new branches from old wood. Different rules for evergreen and deciduous ceanothus shrubs apply.
Our favourite garden job for the cold dreary months. If you don’t mind all the thorns in your skin afterwards.
There’s nothing more stunning than the sight of climbing roses swathed over a wall or trellis. These fantastic plants produce flower after flower, filling the air with perfume and colour throughout the year and making it easy for you to create a beautiful garden. But, if you don’t prune them correctly, you might accidently turn your climbing rose into a stunted shrub. A few simple tips will ensure that your climbing rose remains the garden centrepiece that you’ve always craved.
Prune climbing roses in early winter
If you don’t want to get a lot of thorn-related injuries, wait until early winter when the leaves have dropped. You’ll then be able to see your rose in more detail, allowing you to make the choice of which stems to cut and which to leave in place.
Cut out one or two mature branches
Keep a maximum of six main ground stems. Each year cut out one or two mature branches all the way to the ground to allow fresh growth.
Use sharp secateurs to make angular cuts just above buds. This stops water droplets collecting on the wound, and prevents rot and disease. Cut pruned stems into shorter pieces. Take care if you’re placing these in the compost as thorns and branches can take a long time to decompose.
Your rose will then develop new central growth, allowing lots of flowers and foliage to form.
Trim flowered branches
For branches that have flowered and aren’t being removed, trim them back towards the main branch. Take each flowered branch in your hand and trace your finger back to two thirds of the stem. Find a healthy bud and prune just above it with an angular cut.
This will keep climbing roses full of fresh, new and vibrant growth, ensuring that you can ensure healthy blooms year after year.