Rose Pruning – My Crazy Experiment

Rose pruning timeWith the days getting shorter and autumn just around the corner I am now able to give you the report I promised about the results of my crazy rose pruning experiment.

You may remember that last winter I told you about my rose pruning effort and how I had engaged a professional rose pruner to help me.

The thought of pruning all my roses was a little intimidating at the time – but if truth be told I suspect that I was simply too lazy.

Well, pruning day arrived and the professional pruner brought some tools and some loppers and proceeded to lop off my roses in a most frightening manner.

All I could do was to stand by and watch helplessly – and hope that he knew more about pruning than I did.

I was wrong. I know now that I knew better. Much better. Read more

My Rose Pruning. A Success or Fiasco?

A Pruned RoseI have always pruned my own roses. I like to prune lightly and I always prune to an outside eye.

My roses have grown well and I always buy a few new ones each year so my rose bushes have grown considerably both  in number and in size.

Not surprisingly, when pruning time came around this year, the prospect of pruning them myself was a little daunting.

In the past, I have always spread my rose pruning over a few days – a system that made my job a lot easier. But the downside is that it affects the blooming time if you prune at different times. This year I didn’t want to stagger the pruning as I want to have a big flush of roses in October.

In addition to this, my Mr Lincoln has grown to an enormous height – about 17 -20 feet and the canes are not canes but veritable tree trunks. The thought of pruning this monster was more than a little daunting.

So these are all my reasons for deciding to call in: Read more

When to Prune Roses – A few tips

Pruning tools for rosesIt’s often tricky to decide what is the best time to start pruning your roses.

When to prune roses depends on so many things: the weather, the location, the variety of rose and so on.

But as a rule of thumb,  I generally wait till the end of July until the danger of late frosts is past. During July, you never can be quite sure of the weather.

The problem with pruning too early is that the new growth is very tender and frost can kill off all the baby leaf shoots overnight and that would be a setback for the rose bush, causing die-back and a host of other problems.

Optimally, it’s best to prune just before the roses feel the first growing surge of spring.  As you know, gardening has a lot to do with feeling! Read more

Heavy Pruning versus light Pruning in Roses

I have noticed how some gardeners prune their roses almost right down to the ground so that the bush is left with canes that are only a few inches above the ground.

I think it’s nothing short of murder.  I don’t think that this is what nature intended and let’s face it, pruning  is not a very friendly act at the best of times.

But there are advantages to pruning and that is why we do it.  It forces the bush to recover by producing fresh long canes and show-stopping roses.

So the bottom line is that we have to hit a compromise.  Which is why I go for light pruning.

I try to keep to the original shape of the bush without cutting it down too low.  I like my rose bushes to grow tall and bushy with lots of roses – a sort of natural look.

So I cut out dead branches and trim the tree well.  I cut off all straggly growth and remove ugly crossing canes that hamper the bush.

Once the bush has been cleaned I reduce the canes by 1/3 to a half of the original height if the bush has grown too tall and straggly.

After that it’s simply a matter of caring for your rose bushes and waiting for the first leaves to sprout.

Let me know what you prefer – heavy pruning or light pruning.  I would be interested to know your reasons too.