There are as many different opinions about how and when to prune as there are roses in need of pruning. Pruning and deadheading are important parts of your rose care routine that will result in beautiful bushes that reflect the care that you put into them.
How to Prune a Rose Bush
Simple Rose Pruning Tips to follow:
1. Keep the center of your bushes free of growth to allow good air circulation which helps to keep down the instances of fungus infection. This also denies insects and pests a place to live.
2. Remove any dead or decayed growth. This keeps your bushes looking better and also denies disease and insects a place to call home.
3. Shape your rose bushes as they grow.
4. Remove crossing branches to promote stronger growth.
5. Always using sharp pruning shears and clean the shears after use to remove any disease or fungus spores.
Where to Cut?
The cut should be made just above a bud pointing in the direction you want the new shoot to grow.
This pruning technique works best with new hybrid tea, grandiflora, and floribunda varieties. Cut canes back to three or four buds from the base or the bud unions. The end result is strong canes which are about 4 to 5 inches in length. You should not do hard pruning with established bushes because they may not recycle. The only exception is as a last-ditch effort to revive neglected bushes.
This technique works fine with established gardens of floribundas, hybrid teas, , tree roses and grandifloras. Cut strong stems back to approximately half of their length. Weaker stems may be cut back even more if needed.
Light pruning is not normally recommended for most bushes as it tends to produce early blooms and poorly developed flowers. Use this technique only if others are not working and the bush is an eyesore to begin with.
Cut the canes back to approximately 2/3 of their length. After all unwanted wood is removed any remaining stems are "tipped".
"Pruning is essential for roses in order to encourage new growth and bloom as well as to shape the plant."
While many people think rose pruning is difficult, it isn’t actually that hard to do. The process of pruning is intended to stimulate new growth and rose flowers as well as to keep the bush well shaped and healthy. Pruning also removes undesirable or diseased wood.
To prune your roses you will need a good pair of gardening gloves and sharp secateurs. If you are pruning more than one rose bush, sterilize your secateurs in methylated spirits and wipe clean to avoid the possible spread of disease from one rose bush to another.
Firstly remove crossing or rubbing branches and then prune stems back that have died or look diseased.
Make your cuts at a slight angle, about 45 degrees, and always cut with the blade of your secateurs towards the trunk side of the bush.
The cuts should ideally be around 5 to 10mm above an outward pointing bud, ideally sloping into the bush.
Once the problem material has been removed, reduce the length of the remaining stems. Cutting them back by about 30% is considered a light prune and cutting them back by 50% is a medium prune. The final result should be a neat bush comprising of some health stems.
After pruning, mulch well with an organic mulch. It is important that the mulch doesn’t rest against the stem.