Roses – pruning made easy
Get more flowers this summer with our pruning advice
Although cutting back our favourite flower can seem complicated because of their many different types, roses are some of the easiest plants to prune. They are also a good plant on which to practice your techniques as they are so forgiving. February is a good month for routine pruning of all roses except ramblers, and the basics are the same. Cutting back hard will promote the strongest growth, while light pruning will result in less vigour. The other rules of thumb are to cut to an outward-facing bud and to remove any closely positioned stems that might rub or compete for space. Also remove stubby ‘snags’ (short, dead lengths of stem with no growth on them) and thin, twiggy stems that are unlikely to produce anything worthwhile in terms of growth and flower. It is then a matter of applying specific techniques to the type of rose you are growing.
Turn over for details on modern shrub, bush, rambling and climbing roses