Sum­mer-prune roses

Gardening Australia - - YOUR PLANNER -

By mid­sum­mer, re­peat-flow­er­ing roses start to get long and leggy and, with heat and hu­mid­ity, the fo­liage is often in­fected with black spot dis­ease. That means it’s high time for their sum­mer prune. It’s a bit more than dead­head­ing to re­move spent flowers, but not quite as hard as prun­ing you do in win­ter. The aim is to cut the bush back by about one-third, which en­cour­ages lots of new growth and sets it up for a good show of blooms in au­tumn. Even if roses are bloom­ing, go ahead and cut them back – it’ll be worth it when you see the qual­ity of the au­tumn dis­play. If you find spindly growth, prune that off too, as it won’t amount to any­thing, and re­move dis­eased leaves and stems. Once you’re done, wa­ter deeply, spread rose food around the base, then cover the sur­face with a mix of com­post and straw. Fol­low up with a reg­u­lar drink, then brace your­self for a big dis­play of beau­ti­ful blooms about six weeks af­ter prun­ing.

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