Time to prune roses
The roses are getting their daily morning coffee and soon they will be ready to grow in the coffee grounds.
Photo: Grøn Kommunikation
Written by Lars Lund
Edited by Louise Curley
Late winter (late February and early March) is the best time to prune roses, before they start back into growth. Rambling roses are the exception, these should be pruned in late summer after flowering
- Use clean, sharp secateurs and for thicker stems use loppers.
- Look for any dead, damaged or crossing branches first and remove these back to healthy growth or down to the ground.
- Remove spindly, weak stems back to a main stem or the ground.
- For shrub roses cut back remaining stems by a third to a half.
- All cuts, unless those at ground level, should be made to just above a bud, using sloping cuts so that water doesn’t collect on the bud.
- To create bushy plants with open centres that encourage good air flow, prune back to outward-facing buds.
- To control sprawling roses prune back to inward-facing buds as this will promote more upright stems.
- After pruning tie in the stems of climbing and rambling roses. Tying stems horizontally will encourage more flowers to form.
- And finally, sprinkle a specialist rose fertiliser around the base of the plant.
Om Lars Lund
Danish horticulturist and journalist
Lars Lund has for many years engaged in the garden and greenhouse. Lars has published many books about greenhouses, and he has participated in many Danish horticultural TV shows. He is a walking garden encyclopaedia, and he has answers for most basic cultivation questions – also the more ambitious ones.