Friday, August 12, 2011

Your guide to rose pruning


There's just two weeks left of winter this year. Now, before you start rejoicing, just remember winter is a season that has it's benefits. It's the perfect time for rose pruning.

Ideally roses should be pruned twice a year at least. They can be done in summer, when spent flowers can simply be chopped off a few centimetres below the flower and during winter. Rose pruning during winter is a great way to help improve new growth in the coming months.

If you live in the colder parts of the country, August is the ideal time to start rose pruning so the frosts don't knock back the new shoots. So what are you waiting for?

What to look for when rose pruning
When it comes to rose pruning, generally you'll want to cut about 50 percent off the top of the bush and into a rounded shape. Here are some more tips for rose pruning. There are a few things to be on the look for:

Thorns (most obviously!) - invest in some good quality gardening gloves and a long sleeved top to protect your arms.

Remove old growth to make way for new: Cut off old grey wood from the base of the plant and leave the young shoots. Remove weak, spindly or dead stems. If you have an old bush you might need to get out a pruning saw to remove thicker, older wood.

Don't be afraid to prune and remove large sections of the rose bush. Doing this every couple of years will help rejuvenate new growth.

In general, try to open up the centre of the bush, to ensure more sun and air comes through. ut at about a 45 degree angle, sloping away from the bud. This will prevent rain and dew from collecting in the area where the bud forms onto the stem and will help stop fungal disease.

When you've finished, dispose of the clipping clippings and fertilise. There are plenty of options to choose here. Lime sulphur or organic mulch will help your roses thrive and keep out weeds.

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