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Prune roses

Prune roses
Posted on 18-7-2023 by Nina-Beheerder

How should I prune roses?

To ensure healthy growth and an abundance of flowers, it is important to prune roses. Prune them several times a year. Give them a spring prune, summer prune and an autumn prune. When cutting, make sure you have a pair of sharp pruning shears, gloves and are wearing durable clothing on which the rose thorns do not have the chance to easily catch. When pruning a rose, it is vital to encourage the development of a beautiful, open shape in the centre of the plant. Always prune back the branches that are growing in towards the middle of the bush. With newly planted roses, choose three sturdy branches to prune back to about 10 to 15 centimetres above the ground in the springtime. Alternatively, for those rose bushes in your garden that are well established cut them back in the spring until they are about 50 centimetres above ground level. As a general rule, this means they will be at approximately knee height. Always cut just above an outward-facing eye bud, and it will grow into a new branch for you. In the summertime, maintain your plant by dead-heading it regularly.

When cutting, choose a point just above one of the five-leaf leaflets to prune. The general rule is the shorter you prune the branch, the larger the new blossoms will grow; whereas longer shoots will produce smaller but more abundant flowers. By carefully keeping up with the dead-heading of wilting flowers, you will encourage the re-blossoming of your roses. Maintaining your plant with these techniques ensures you will enjoy the delicious scents and colours of this elegant garden plant all summer long. Pruning in autumn is equally important for your roses. By cutting the plant’s shoots to approximately knee height, you will help to protect the plant against the harsh winter months. When pruning at this time of the year, you do not have to pay as close attention to the position of the eyes on the stem, and can safely cut the canes back to about 50 centimetres above ground level.

When can I fertilise roses?

To grow vibrant, healthy, and richly flowering rose bushes that sport thick canes, fertilisation is of the utmost importance. Be sure to fertilise your roses several times a year. In autumn nourish the plants by mixing fresh manure into the soil surrounding the rose. During pruning, it is important to add extra nutrition to the soil so that the plant can draw enough nutrients to regenerate. After the first flowering, approximately halfway through the summer, give your plants another dose of fertiliser so that your rose will bloom vividly and abundantly all summer long.

When can I propagate roses?

Propagating roses is not that difficult. Always take cuttings after the flowering season, around late August to early September. Select a few of the most appealing, straight branches and cut them just beneath an eye bud. Remove the rose hips and leaves from the lower half of the canes. Fill a number of pots with a layer of pot shards or gravel and add good quality potting soil. Bury the rose cuttings around half way up the cane, ensuring the soil stays moist and the pots are in a position out of the sun and wind. As the cutting does not initially have roots, it is only able to draw up a little moisture for nourishment. Therefore it is important to prevent the soil from drying out as much as possible.

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