Peter Cun­dall:

PETER CUN­DALL says al­most all rose plants thrive on be­ing pruned back in win­ter, but dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties re­spond to spe­cific tech­niques

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TASSIE LIVING -

Win­ter prun­ing will en­sure rosy re­sults

When badly-con­gested, ne­glected plants are prop­erly pruned, it can some­times be a bru­tal lib­er­a­tion. By re­mov­ing dead, dis­eased or badly-placed branches and suck­ers which have be­come a dead weight, we lib­er­ate them. Luck­ily, the bare branches of roses in win­ter make it eas­ier to see what we’re do­ing.

Al­most all rose plants thrive on be­ing pruned in win­ter, but dif­fer­ent rose va­ri­eties re­spond best to spe­cific tech­niques and luck­ily they are all easy.

It’s dif­fi­cult to make a mis­take be­cause vir­tu­ally all rose bushes, climbers and stan­dards re­spond strongly to even the most clumsy at­tempts at prun­ing.

Large-flow­ered and clus­ter-flow­ered bush roses are the most pop­u­lar. They are still de­scribed as hy­brid tea and flori­bun­roses da in most nurs­ery cat­a­logues.

To prune, start at the bot­tom and cut out all whiskery, twiggy ma­te­rial near the ground. This in­cludes suck­ers which al­ways arise from be­low graft-unions.

Next prune out dead branches plus any old, woody branches which have lost vigour.

Snip off weak, spindly shoots. Most pro­duce long, vig­or­ous and slightly soft wa­ter-shoots which are ba­si­cally new branches. They are best left un­pruned apart from re­mov­ing old flower heads or seed pods.

Fi­nally, cut back all re­main­ing healthy branches by about a third. Job done!

Stan­dard roses are bush roses grafted to the top of long, high stems, so are pruned the same way. Keep in mind that graft-unions are a me­tre above the ground and never prune be­low these – apart from sucker re­moval.

Pa­tio roses are just half-sized bush roses and most can be pruned quite hard – by at least half – and older branches cut

By re­mov­ing dead, dis­eased or badly-placed branches and suck­ers which have be­come a dead weight, we lib­er­ate them

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