Now that the frosts of last week have abated lets turn our attention to pruning our Roses.
As discussed in the last post, pruning is not off limits in Winter, or as we are now, at the end of it. In fact, pruning certain plants in winter can be superbly beneficial, and Roses are certainly one of them.
Roses can be pruned at the end of the growing season between Nov-Mar, providing that threat of frost has passed. The best time to prune is Feb-Mar.
Pruning at this time is beneficial as it essentially sets up the structure of the plant for the new growing season. This includes, removing straggley, damaged, dead or diseased stems which could affect the health and growth of the plant.
So, how do we prune?
Here are some general tips for pruning roses in winter.
- Make sure your secateurs are sharp and clean. This is very important in ensuring the integrity of the stem.
- Cuts should always be made just above a bud, and diagonally, slanted, to stop water pooling on the cut.
- Always attempt to cut to an outward facing bud as this helps to avoid messy and obstructive inward growing stems.
- A rule of thumb is to count at least 3 buds or nodes up from the start of the stem and cut on the fourth. If a dormant bud is not visible then cut the stem to an appropriate height in relation the other stems.
- Cut out anything that pertains to the three D's. Dead, Damaged or Diseased.
- I also recommend cutting out crowded stems. Stems that are crowded often come in contact with each other and over time this contact area wears out and becomes damaged, becoming a potential disease risk.
That should be your roses pruned and ready to get going for the year.
*Note: This is just general advice. Specific techniques must be applied to Climbing, Rambling or Shrub roses.