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How to Prune Roses

22/06/2014 I thought this month I would give some advice about Pruning Roses. Cuts should be no more than 5mm (¼ in) above a bud and should slope away from it, so that water does not collect on the bud. This applies to all cuts, whether removing dead wood, deadheading or annual pruning. Cut to an outward-facing bud to encourage an open-centred shape. With roses of spreading habit prune some stems to inward-facing buds to encourage more upright growth. Cut to the appropriate height, if a dormant bud is not visible. Cuts must be clean, so keep your secateurs sharp. For larger stems, use loppers or a pruning saw. Prune dieback to healthy white pith. Cut out dead and diseased stems and spindly and crossing stems, aiming for well-spaced stems so that air can flow freely. 

On established roses, cut out poorly flowering old wood and saw away old stubs that have failed to produce new shoots, with the exception of climbing roses, prune all newly planted roses hard to encourage vigorous shoots. Roses send off suckers these should be totally removed, trace suckers back to the roots from which they grow and pull them away.

Lastly a few words about secateurs, I know you can pick up cheap pairs for less than £5 but they will not do a great job or last very long. Spend about £20 and get a good pair with a 10 year or even a ‘Lifetime' guarantee, they will make pruning jobs so much easier. Secateurs also come in many shapes and sizes, try a few to see how they fit your hand before you commit to buy them.

 Keep dead heading for more blooms :o)

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