How to Prune Roses

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Roses are a beautiful addition to any front garden, yard, or patio. However, if you want to get the most out of these gorgeous plants, you do have to put a small amount of effort in by pruning them correctly. Pruning roses is an effective way to help the plant stay healthy and to stimulate new growth. If you don’t know how to prune roses, follow these 4 tips: 

Prune In Summer & Winter

Wondering when to prune roses? You need to prune your roses twice a year: once in summer, once in winter. The winter prune will need doing around June or July for most. However those in the coldest Australian climate will want to wait until early August. 

Pruning roses in summer is a simple case of deadheading the spent blooms as and when you need to. With a winter pruning, there is a lot more to do in preparation for the next season of renewal. The rest of our handy tips will take you through a more detailed and attentive winter rose pruning. 

The Parts To Cut

Cutting any part of the bush stems at a 45 degree angle with your tools (simple secateurs or sheers are usually fine) is always a good idea to prevent fungal disease.You will want to cut from the top, out to in, removing about a third to a half of the entire bush. There are several areas of the rose bush to focus your attention on when you prune, including:

  • Any skinny areas should be trimmed to where the branches are the thickness of a biro
  • Any stem that looks diseased, crinkly or generally unhealthy
  • Any outward facing buds, to encourage bush expansion from the main canes
  • Any totally dead wood and branches which need to be removed down to the stump

The idea is to open the rose bushes up for more circulating air, and less growth in the centre.

If you’re pruning ground roses, you don’t have to be so particular and can simply chop the size down to base level. You may also want to check your rose bush type as some require very specific pruning. Climbing roses are a good example of a variety that needs specific attention, as explained in the video below:. 

The Parts To Keep And Nurture

When you’re pruning, look out for the youngest parts of the bush, small pink or green shoots, leaves or tips. These are called water shoots and represent new growth. They can be gently pruned, but need to be protected. 

You may also want to start spraying the plant with lime sulphur whilst it is stripped back to kill fungus and protect the plant from disease. It is also a great idea to fertilise the rose around 3-6 weeks after pruning to nurture the whole plant and encourage healthier flowers. 

Finishing Up

Once the pruning has done and you’ve treated yourself to a well-earned afternoon tea, it’s time to clean up the gardens. You’ll want to remove all the clippings and trimmed branches as not to leave any to suffocate the garden soil. Some people choose to compost their rose cuttings, others err on the side of caution and place them straight in the bin, in case they hold or produce any disease. 

Rose pruning at home is quite the detailed task when it comes to the big winter trim that they need in order to flourish. However, if you follow our tips and put the effort into your flowering roses, the plant will reward you with stunning, healthy bloom after bloom come spring and summer.


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