How to prune roses

Waitaki Herald - - HOUSE AND GARDEN -

In win­ter it cer­tainly is hard to re­mem­ber how breath­tak­ingly beau­ti­ful roses are, but be as­sured they are sim­ply sit­ting dor­mant ready to be reign as the queen of the gar­den once more come the warmer weather.

Prun­ing at the end of the colder weather is vi­tal for a good sum­mer flow­er­ing but how can I time my rose prun­ing ab­so­lutely right?

Those of us in colder climes in North Otago – where there may be late frosts – can de­lay prun­ing to Mid-Au­gust to pre­vent dam­age to new growth.

Ide­ally this is when the frosts have fin­ished.

Don’t be tempted to prune your roses too early.

They will start shoot­ing, and this new growth may be hit by frosts.

The tim­ing of the first flush of blooms in spring is very much con­trolled by the weather.

Cooler tem­per­a­tures, par­tic­u­larly at night, will slow down growth and de­lay flow­er­ing, though usu­ally by not much more than a cou­ple of weeks. the prun­ing.

Hy­brid Teas, for in­stance, ap­pre­ci­ate hard prun­ing where up to two-thirds of growth is re­moved.

Roses with twiggy, airy growth, such as the China roses, need only light prun­ing, which in­volves re­mov­ing one-third of the growth.

Prun­ing climbers can be a bit of a night­mare un­less they are trained from the very be­gin­ning.

To do this, it is im­por­tant to bend the strong young canes to fan out from the base so they are as near hor­i­zon­tal as pos­si­ble.

This will cause the plant to send up flow­er­ing shoots all along the canes in­stead of just at the top.

El­bow to hand is a rough guide for spac­ing be­tween the hor­i­zon­tal canes.

Prun­ing a climber con­sists of short­en­ing the flow­er­ing side shoots to three or four growth buds each year and re­mov­ing old, un­prof­itable canes from the base as the plant ages.

Im­me­di­ately af­ter prun­ing is a good time to give the roses a fi­nal cop­per and oil spray to kill any fungi that may still be alive. Don’t rush in to prune too early when late frosts can dam­age new growth.

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