Winter means pruning time

Emilien Guillot.

Brian Wagner

WITH the official arrival of winter, any day is perfect to prune your roses, which are now dormant – with no flowers and no leaves – and won’t mind a good haircut.

I normally simplify the process for pruning bush roses to three basic steps:

– Remove half the height of each stem.

– Cut out any old, dead wood.

– Prune the rose bush to the shape you want.

I am confident that this process will result in beautiful blooms and a healthy bush in Spring.

For older bushes, cut out any central canes that look too close to each other or are spindly and remove spent leaf matter from the middle of the plant.

Pruning standard roses will follow very similar steps:

– Start removing one third of each stem to see what to do next.

– Remove dead and old wood that won’t produce any blooms.

– Leave the new growth and fresh wood.

– Prune to the shape you like.

– Use a wire brush to remove old bark.

Pruning climbing roses can seem a bit daunting.

When you’ve finally trained the plant to the height you want, it’s important to make sure you don’t undo all the hard work by being over-enthusiastic.

– Train the rose in the direction you want it to grow, encouraging the central canes to grow towards the trellis or support.

– Canes that don’t easily follow this pattern should be pruned away, as should any dead or old wood, and canes that are diseased or crossing over.

Just be sure not to remove the vigorous new growth.

– Flowers will be produced by the canes that grow laterally, which should be spaced 30-40 cm apart, and can be secured by a soft tie to maintain their shape.

Whether you’re pruning a bush rose, a standard or a climbing rose, remember to clean up all the old leaf matter and debris from the surrounding area, as this will minimize the chances of disease.

Also avoid pruning roses in a wet or rainy day, as the cut area won’t have a protective layer of woody cells that normally form in dry conditions.

To find out more and watch tutorial videos about pruning roses, visit the Wagner’s Rose Nursery website.

On our website you’ll also find all the bare root rose varieties still in stock, to pre-order now for July/August delivery.

If you’re not sure what to choose, we are offering 20% discount on 20 selected roses – like the beautiful Emilien Guillot and Elodie Gossuin; Bordeaux; the old-fashioned Hansa, the classic Peace climbing, Bonica, Sally Holmes and Sophy’s Rose, just to mention a few.

For any question or request, simply give us a call or send us an email and we’ll be happy to help you!