RULES FOR ROSES.
Certain basic rules of pruning apply to all groups
of roses. The aim is generally to cut out all
diseased and dead stems and to remove any weak
On bush and shrub roses, completely remove all
tangled and crossing branches to open up the centre
of the rose.
On climbing cultivars, separate any
tangled branches by training them apart rather
than by cutting them.
Always cut back to a dormant bud (which will eventually
grow into a new shoot), preferably an outward-facing
one do that the rose will develop with an open
Make all pruning cuts just above a bud and slanting
down, away from it.
The first time roses are pruned
(after the pre-planting trim) they should be cut
back fairly drastically. The idea is to encourage
a good framework of strong shoots from the base
of the plant. It will also reduce the strain on
the root system, which will not have had much
time to become strongly established.
The first step is to remove any damaged, dead
and weak shoots right back to the junction with
the main stems or the rootstock. Then prune large-flowered
(hybrid tea) types back to an outward-facing bud
about 4in above the ground.
Cut back new cluster-flowered
(floribunda) roses to around 5-6in, and miniatures
Prune roses that have come straight from the nursery
before planting, but once planted do not prune
shrub roses in the first year, apart from removing
dead or damaged shoots, as they flower on wood
produced in the previous season.
For the same
reason, climbers, ramblers and species roses should
not be pruned in the first year after planting,
apart from removing any weak or damaged shoots
and about 3in from the tips of the stems.
In subsequent years, in spring, prune large-flowered
cultivars to four or five buds from the base,
and cluster-flowered to six or seven buds.
not cut back cultivars grown as standards as hard:
leave 10-12in extending from where the bushy part
joins the top of the main stem.
Miniature roses require little pruning. Simply
cut off the thin ends of branches, and cut back
diseased or damaged branches to sound wood.
shrub roses need only the occasional removal of
old, dead or damaged shoots.
To prune climbers, first trim back the flowered
shoots to two or three buds immediately after
flowering. In winter, remove dead, diseased and
spindly wood, and cut back the leading stems to
strong new shoots. This ensures the regular replacement
of old wood by young, healthy wood. If no strong
shoots have grown from a leader, prune it and
its laterals by about half.
When an old stem ceases
to throw out new shoots, remove it to promote
new growth from the base of the climber.
Prune ramblers, whose new growth springs liberally
from the base of the plant, by cutting flower-bearing
stems to near ground level immediately after flowering.
Tie in new stems to replace them in the following
year. If new stems are usually produced from a
point halfway or lower on the old stems, cut back
the old stems to that point.
Most large-flowered and cluster-flowered bush
roses need shortening and tidying up in late autumn
so that they are not damaged by strong winds;
do not prune completely as frosts can damage developing
Remove all dead flower heads and cut back all
strong shoots by a third. Carry out the main pruning,
outlined above, in spring. In summer, deadhead
regularly to promote continuity of bloom. Lightly
prune to an outward-facing bud after all the flowers
in a cluster on a stem have died.
See also: Pruning