This is the best time for pruning roses in most regions of the country, except for those very cold areas where pruning should be delayed until mid- to end August
Pruning roses improves flowering during the following season, keeps plants healthy by cutting away diseased or damaged wood and helps keep the shape of rose bushes.
- Pest and disease control: Should powdery mildew be an ongoing problem, dig agricultural lime into the soil.
- Other tasks: After pruning enrich and aerate the soil around each rose bush by digging in compost, superphosphate and fertiliser such as Ludwig’s Vigorosa or Wonder Rose. Water well afterwards.
READ MORE: Pruning is a good thing
HOW TO PRUNE:
Hybrid Tea, Floribunda and Miniature roses
Using hedge clippers or secateurs cut down tall hybrid teas, floribunda and rose bushes to about 70cm. Medium-high roses can be cut down to 50cm and miniature roses down to 20cm. This makes it easier to see the old and new growth.
Cut out dead branches and older main stems, especially those close to last season’s basal shoots. Where there is a forked stem, remove one of the ‘tines’. Cut side shoots back to about 20cm.
Roses that are very tall or are planted close together can be pruned more severely
Inspect the remaining growth to see which main stems (this season’s growth) or branches (two years or older growth) should remain.
Look for four suitable stems, which are more or less evenly arranged. Even if only three good stems are found, remove all other stems and branches. If there is only one good stem, consider retaining some of the older branches.
Cut the remaining stems down to about 40cm above the ground and remove all remaining side stems and forks. Pull off all leaves because they can harbour pests and diseases.
Spreading rose varieties such as…
‘My Granny’, Flower Carpets and ‘Deloitte & Touche’ can be trimmed back to about 30cm from the centre or to 60cm in diameter.
Climbing Roses, Panarosas, Midinette and Spires are expected to grow high and older stems, especially those that do not reach as high, can be cut out at the base. Retain about six to eight stems. Cut out criss-crossing side stems and higher up on the rose cut side stems back to about 5cm.
Ludwig’s Roses ludwigsroses.co.za