How to Prune Roses with Pots & Trowels

Who doesn’t love a summer garden full of stunning scented rose blooms?

For the best results, you’ll want to prune your roses twice a year, and it’s just about time for one of those tidy-ups. In a recent Pots & Trowels video, Martin Fish shared some expert advice for your early spring rose prune. You can watch the video below, or you can keep reading to find out how to prune your roses to perfection.

How to Tidy Up Your Roses

Roses should be pruned twice a year; once at the end of the summer season to tidy them up and secure them for winter, and then once again in the spring. It’s good to give them a ‘proper prune’ in early spring, just as growth is about to start, and this blog will show you how!

What Do I Need to Prune Roses?

  • Secateurs – Secateurs are ideas for most pruning jobs. Our Sarah Raven Secateurs have been carefully crafted for both comfort and performance. Your roses will be shaped and tidied in no time with these expert bypass pruners.
  • Loppers – If you’re pruning thicker branches, then use a pair of loppers instead of secateurs. For any stems or branches thicker than a finger, don’t strain to cut them, choose the right tool to make your gardening task easier. Our Telescopic Bypass Loppers are the perfect tool for the job as they’re lightweight and easy to use. You’ll be able to create clean cuts and cut smooth finish.
  • Gloves – Please remember if you’re dealing with a thorny rose bush to use a pair of gloves to help protect your hands.
  • String – You may also need some string for climbing roses, to hold the stems in place and secure them for windy weather.

Autumn Rose Pruning

The autumn prune should take place in November, but it’s important to take note of the weather, an unseasonably warm September or October could affect the timing of your rose bush prune.

Shrub roses are often filled with flowers all throughout the summer, and they’ll keep giving year after year when looked after properly. They can reach up to 6 feet in height and diameter, so they will need lots of trimming. The aim of the autumn prune is to reduce the size of your rose bushes and remove dead flowers and old wood.

Step 1: Be sure to remove any old flower heads, and complete a good deadheading exercise by cutting the stems back by around a quarter or a third.

Step 2: Work your way around the plant and gradually take off all the dead stems to reduce the height and the width.

This will stop the rose from blowing around in the wind and rocking the roots loose. This task could take a while, but keep going. You’ll find that your plant is noticeably smaller, but that’s your aim. It’s the time to complete your final prune of the year to stop your precious plant blowing in the wind and rocking about in the winter storms.

For smaller rose plants that live in tubs, pots, or are climbers, you’ll still need to undertake the same process, but on a smaller scale. Cut these plants back by about half. All the stems need to be removed, so take it down to a bud and lower the whole of the plant.

Spring Rose Pruning

The final spring prune should take place in late February/early March time. You’ll find your plant is completely bare of leaves and you can remove dead wood and old wood to encourage growth. Completing this second prune will ensure you have lots of new shoots and flowers come summer. Be sure to prune and snip at an angle to help you create the best chance for new growth.

The aim of this prune is to create an open vase shape with your branches, shaping the plant to grow with outward facing buds when possible, as this will give you the best display.

Remember that roses grow prolifically, so don’t worry if it feels like you’ve chopped your rose down to the stem! You’ll have lots of flowers come the summer.

Where Can I Buy Darlac Tools?

At Darlac, we’ve got the right garden tool to help you prune your roses, whatever the size and whatever the season, making your gardening tasks as easy as possible. You can find our products in store from your local garden centre – find your local Darlac stockist here.  

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