How to prune roses: Five key steps every gardener needs to know for a top summer bloom

Monty Don shares tips for pruning roses

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This week, it’s time to prune any roses you have so you can help your plant create gorgeous flowers. Pruning roses takes a bit of know-how, so make sure you’ve read this guide to pruning roses before you start chopping away at your plant.

When should you prune a rose?

Now is the perfect time to prune roses, in order to guarantee a beautiful display of flowers in spring and summer.

Most types of roses will benefit from a February or March pruning, but for each specific variety of rose, you may need to check timing.

If you’re not sure what type of rose you have – for instance if it was already established in your garden when you moved in – pruning it around now is a safe bet.

How to prune a rose

When it comes to pruning your roses, there are some important tips to keep in mind.

To start with, get rid of any dead stems.

Look at any crossing stems and try to get rid of as many as you can. It should improve the look of the rose bush and allow air to move through more freely.

Keeping stems spaced out is a very good idea to encourage the airflow through the plant.

You should make cuts just above buds, but make sure the direction of the cut is sloping away from the bud.

Making the cut in this way prevents water collecting on the bud.

If you can’t see a bud yet on a stem, just trim to match the size you’re taking the rose bush too.

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With roses, it’s very important to make your cuts as clean and precise as possible, so use your sharpest secateurs.

If you’ve got some larger and tougher stems, you may need to bring out a pruning saw.

On an established rose you’ve had for a while, get rid of any old stems that no longer produce flowers.

For younger plants, with the exception of climbing roses and shrub roses, don’t be shy about pruning them hard.

Pruning a rose hard encourages it to grow back fuller and fiercer.

Once you’ve pruned your rose, make sure to give it a treat.

Feed it with a specific rose fertiliser or a general purpose fertiliser if you don’t have a rose-specific one.

Then add some mulch – either compost or manure – to improve the quality of the soil, help retain moisture and prevent weeds.

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