Pruning Your Roses
Those that know Mr-Skill are usually quite surprised when they learn that he has a green side to him too. In fact, he loves roses, and once people realise this they jump straight to the question of when to prune this much-loved shrub. It’s not just about ‘when to’, it’s equally important to know ‘how to’ prune properly. Our Mr-Skill learned everything he knows from one of our regular London gardeners, and since then he tends his lovely rose plants religiously.
Well, it all depends on the type of rose you have in your garden, as well as your location. With bushes, shrubs and climbers, minor pruning can be done many times during the year, but the heavy cut back needs to be tackled in the spring, in order to promote strong growth. Here’s the pruning method employed by all our green-fingered experts, but you can also seek advice when you find a gardener right here on Mr-Skill.
- Make sure you use a clean and sharp pair of pruning scissors.
- Make your cuts no more than quarter-of-an-inch above the bud, and angle the cut away from it to keep water from collecting where it’s not wanted.
- Be sure to cut to the appropriate height.
- Completely remove dead and diseased stems.
- Spindly and criss-crossing stems need cutting back too – this is to encourage better plant shape.
- Over time, try to aim for well-spaced stems – this will promote better air flow around the bush.
- On more established rose plants, cut out poorly flowering old wood and saw off old stubs that have failed to produce new shoots.
- With the noted exception of climbing roses, severely prune all newly planted bushes, as this certainly encourages new and rapid growth.
- Finally, trace suckers back to the root system and snip them cleanly off.
If rose pruning sounds a bit prickly to you, you can always get a gardening quote from one of the many experts right here on Mr-Skill. One last word from the maestro, mix a solution of bicarbonate of soda in water and spray on your bushes, then watch them grow and blossom forth. It’s a rose by any other name!