The Basic Rules of Pruning Roses
Why should you prune roses?
There are two reasons for pruning roses:
- To take out old and diseased wood and encourage new flowering shoots
- To keep the plant in a good shape with an open centre that lets in
light and air.
When should you prune roses?
Prune when the plants are dormant. In mild areas you can prune in the
autumn (November), but if your garden gets frosty and cold in the winter
then prune in the spring (March/April) when it's a bit warmer.
What equipment do you need?
A strong pair of gloves, some sharp secateurs and sometimes a small pruning
saw. You will also need some garden twine for your climbers.
How do you cut a shoot?
It's important that you cut a shoot properly. Here are the rules:
1. Always cut just above a bud. You can tell a bud on a stem. If you look
on the stem you will see some lines where the leaf was joined to it. Just
above the line you will see a little nobble. This is the bud which will
grow into a new shoot.
2. Choose a bud that is facing outwards. This bud will grow into a shoot,
so you want one that's going to grow out, not into the centre of the plant.
3. Cut at a slant, not straight across. By doing this any rain will run
away from the bud, rather than drown it.
4. Make a clean cut, about 1/4 inch above the bud.
What shoots do you cut out, and how low?
This varies depending on the type of rose you are pruning. Click on the
buttons below to find out more.
However, there are some shoots that should always be cut out right at the
- any shoot that's dead
- any shoot that's weak and spindly
- any shoot that's old and gnarled
- any shoot that's growing into the middle of the bush, making it
- any shoot that's rubbing against another
What do I do after pruning?
Once you have pruned your roses, give them a good feed. Click here for more