Pruning is fairly straightforward.
Think of it as “cutting back” rather than pruning – it will make the job simpler.
- First, cut out all the dead wood and remove any weak spindly growth
- Prune out at the base any stems that appear old and wizened, probably branches that have been left for several seasons and that are now past their usefulness!
- For bush roses shorten the remaining fresh, sound branches down to 4-9 inches.
- Shrub roses need not be cut back so severely – depending on the variety 15-24 inches.
- For climbing roses follow point 1 & 2 and shorten the remaining branches by 25-30%.
You never need to worry, however severely you cut back your roses, you cannot do any harm. In fact it rejuvenates the plants and encourages them to produce new, strong healthy growth.
The best time to prune is as soon as winter is over – ideally sometime in February – early March. Pruning every year will bring out the best in your roses.
If you have not pruned yet, then my advice would be to prune now – it is still well worth doing and you will certainly be amazed at the difference it makes!
I recommend feeding after pruning with an application of Toprose or a suitable rose fertiliser.