If you haven’t pruned your roses yet then now is the time. Rose pruning should be done all year round but the one hard prune of the year should be done in the winter months. I recommend towards the end of winter because after you have pruned your roses and the new buds and young leaves start to grow, the cold weather can affect their growth. You also want the best show when you are starting to head back out side with the warmer weather and the fresh new growth and flowers.
You will need a good sharp pair secateurs, a small hand saw, a thick pair of gloves and some loppers. All your tools should be clean so as to not spread disease.
When pruning a rose there are some rules that will ensure a great looking rose and will help to make pruning easier in the future.
- Remove any old ugly grey wood or dead wood, you want new growth.
- Remove any branches that are crossing each other or growing into the center (roses should be pruned into a open vase shape).
- Remove any branches smaller than a pencil width.
- Cut just above an outward facing bud (every leaf has a bud at the base).
- Stand back and have a look, If it doesn’t look right cut it out.
- Remove all leaves off the rose as disease can hide here.
- Now you have finished pruning you should be left with a third of what you started with in height and about 3-5 main branches.
- Remove all prunings and waste, disease can hide here too and it looks, well like rubbish.
- This is important, treat the rose with a insecticide and fungicide. I think lime sulphur is best, make sure you soak the whole plant including top side, under side, in all the nooks & crannies and even the soil below the rose. (Only treat with lime sulphur in winter to avoid burning leaves and buds).
- Fertilize with a slow release fertilizer or blood and bone.
It will take about 6-8 weeks for your roses to flourish.
Now stand back and enjoy.