5 top tips for pruning roses
Angie Thomas, July 2015
There are still plenty of cool days remaining for planting bare root roses. In warm areas there might even still be a few rose buds to enjoy. The main rosy job for July is pruning roses, except in really cold districts, where it’s best to wait till later in August to prune (after the danger of severe frosts has passed). Although you may love or loathe this job, roses respond well to pruning, and you’ll be rewarded with new canes and plentiful, larger blooms in spring. Our best advice is to have a go - roses are tough, forgiving plants - some of Australia’s best rose nurseries prune their display gardens using brush cutters, and their roses still bloom beautifully year after year! Use clean sharp secateurs, and prune just above an outward facing bud. For larger canes use a pair of long handled loppers or a pruning saw, removing the canes at the base. Don’t forget your heavy-duty gloves and protective clothing. [alert style="alert-danger" dismissable="false"] TIP: Don’t prune spring-only blooming roses such old fashioned, some climbing and Banksia roses - leave these until after they have put on their show and prune in late spring or early summer. [/alert]
Rose Pruning Basics:
- Start by pruning off about half the height of the bush to get rid of twiggy growth and provide a clear view of the canes.
- Next remove any dead or unproductive canes ñ the older ones have a grey appearance - cut these out at the base, using long handled loppers or a pruning saw.
- Keep newer canes, which appear reddish, green or brown ñ aim to keep five or more well spaced canes - leaving room for sunlight and air circulation around the base of the bush.
- Shorten the retained canes to around knee high, using secateurs, and trim to just above an outward facing bud.
- Clean up all the dropped leaves, and discarded stems, spray the rose with Yates Lime Sulphur then mulch around the base of each rose.