Late summer and autumn is the best time to prune climbing roses and ramblers. All roses need regular pruning to keep them healthy, in good shape and to keep them flowering well, and while the specific timing depends on the type of rose, most need pruning either after flowering or in late winter or early spring. If you give your roses some TLC during autumn it will get them safely through the winter and ensure they’re healthy, vigorous and full of flowers next year.
- Snip off any shrivelled blooms to prevent rot setting in.
- Remove the petals from any blooms that are starting to form hips, so you can enjoy their winter display.
- Pick off and throw away any remaining foliage that shows signs of disease, such as blackspot, mildew or rust.
- Collect any infected leaves that have fallen on to the ground, as these can carry diseases from one year to the next.
- Autumn is a good time to transplant any rose bushes that are in the wrong position. You can also plant new ones, as they’ll have time to get established before winter arrives.
- Prune out dead, damaged or crossing stems from shrub roses in autumn. Aim to create an open-centred framework to encourage good air-flow through the plant.
- Shorten the stems of tall bush roses to reduce wind-rock during winter gales, as this can loosen and damage the roots. Cut stems just above an outward-facing bud wherever possible.
- Thin out the heads of standard roses as their rounded heads can catch the wind and even snap off completely in a severe storm.