The spring of 2020 has seen a turn of fortunes for gardeners across the country with good rain bringing on the type of growth not seen in a decade.
This spring the quality of roses has been outstanding, but what do you once that first flush has been spent? Simple, prune them, but you need to do it right.
Summer pruning of roses is not like winter pruning. The aim of pruning in late spring or summer is to maximise growth for that next flush of blooms on perpetual flowering roses. The type of rose bush will also determine how you will prune.
Roses fall into several categories, popular types include hybrid teas, floribundas, climbers, and carpet roses. Pruning will vary for each to get the best summer blooms.
When it comes to hybrid teas, simply prune any flowering stems to the fifth node or so with an outward facing bud from the point of origin that the flowering stem emerged from. This will leave ample foliage for the rose to continue to flourish.
If picking roses for the vase follow the same principle, the next flush of flowers should appear in around 45 days after pruning.
Floribundas can be treated in the same way as hybrid teas, but climbing roses are a little bit different.
Climbers fall into two categories, spring flowering and perpetual. Spring flowering roses include the old favourites such as the banksia rose and Albertine, which can be pruned hard after they finish flowering.
This will encourage new growth which will produce flowers next spring. The perpetual or repeat climbers such as climbing Pierre de Ronsard, one of the most popular roses in the world, will benefit from deadheading of blooms during spring and summer with little else required until July when pruning is much more judicious.
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Carpet roses are the easiest of all to care for, these hardy groundcover plants which flower for almost ten months of the year require only a little attention to keep them in good order. These are landscaping plants so all they need is a light prune once or twice across the growing season and a hard prune in winter.
Pruning carpet roses does not require a great deal of thought on where or how to make cuts, hedging shears or loppers will do the trick. The greatest challenge will be in deciding whether to sacrifice those gorgeous flowers or not.