Now that the cold weather has well and truly arrived and you roses may have started to fall but fear not we’ve gathered together some useful tips to ensure that your roses make a spectacular return next year!
Roses have indeed gone on flowering for quite some this autumn due to the unusually mild weather with many rose varieties unexpectedly flowering up until the end of November. If you grow rose varieties that flower even in the depth of winter such as the Helleborus Niger variety, these should be pruned accordingly after flowering.
We expect that most of your roses will have stopped flowering by now and will be ready for pruning. Before you do so, make sure all the dropped leaves and rose petals are cleared away from the surrounding area, such as the ground beneath and in any of the bushes. Doing so will help in eradicating any opportunity for fungal spores to thrive over the winter months and reinfect your plants when it is time to bloom again in the spring months. If there are any leaves still on the bushes you will need to cut these off, once the rosehips have started to decay these will also need cutting off.
Your pruning requirements will vary depending on the rose variety, tall rose bushes that are likely to take the brunt of the wind should be cut down, we recommend cutting the top quarter of the bush off. This will help the bush withstand the harsh winter winds and will stop any of the plant’s roots being loosened in the soil.
Rose pruning is typically carried out from late winter into early spring while the plant is dormant, but it is important to remember that pruning must not be carried out in frosty weather conditions. Well established rose climbers can be pruned and secured onto structures from October – December, with ramblers best pruned September-October after they have flowered.
Before you get started with your pruning you will need to make sure your secateurs are very sharp and cleaned thoroughly, blunt secateurs can leave snags of bark which may harbour damaging infections.
Firstly you will need to prune all the dead, damaged and diseased stems, keep cutting back until you reach the healthy white pith of the stem. Try to cut the stems at an angle, sloping away from any outward-facing buds as this will help with water run-off. Next you will need to remove any thin and twig-like growth, this will provide a good circulation of air in the bush.
Don’t worry, roses are notoriously tough plants and ammateaur pruning to remove the worst stems is far better than no pruning and leaving the rose bush to grow wild. We thoroughly recommend that you try to remember to clear away all leaves and debris from in and around the rose bushes, this is where all the fungal spores will lay dormant waiting to infect next year’s new growth! Aided with our top rose bush pruning tips your roses are sure to keep flowering and thriving for many years to come!