If there is one thing new rose growers detest is pruning but we have you covered with our beginner’s guide to growing. The subject often sends shivers down their spines. However, once you realize the exercise is meant to enhance new growth and keep them healthy, then it shouldn’t be so hard.
Why Prune Roses?
Pruning is a necessary exercise that allows roses to be healthy. It makes the path clear for air and light to pass to the core of the bush. Pruning also redirects energy towards new growth. In other words, the plant seeks to replace the cut parts, and that can only be good for you as the gardener.
Rose stems develop and produce flowers for years. Unlike other plant varieties, roses maintain the same size year in year out until they die off. If not pruned, they become a mess as the various branches and stems compete for light and air.
To avoid complications, the best time to prune is at the beginning of spring. Avoid the temptation of doing it too early as the extremes of weather can quickly kill the plant.
The Steps for Effective Pruning of Roses
You need gloves and sharpened secateurs. Before anything, look for any previously dead damaged or diseased parts and cut them out efficiently at the base. Then look for the white on the stem. If you find that it is brownish, continue cutting it until you can reach the white. A healthy plant has a greenish-white stem.
Cut any twiggy, crossed and thin growth leaving only the healthy. Don’t cut the suckers but rather, rip them off. Cutting will only encourage new vigorous growth, and that is not what you want.
The Different Rose Pruning Methods you can use
- Hard pruning is the most severe where roses are cut back to around 5 inches. This method is not quite standard and is only used on new or weak roses that need to be rejuvenated. This technique encourages the growth of new roots and healthier stem from the bud.
- The method where roses are cut by half is moderate pruning. This is the most typical for newly grounded Floribundas and Hybrid Teas.
- And with light pruning, the roses are only cut back by a small fraction of their total height. This method is not the most ideal as it can produce spindly and tall bushes – not the best.
- Easy care method is where the bush is cut in half. You can choose to remove or leave the dead wood. However, there has not been any noticeable differences between this method and moderate pruning.