Home Lifestyle Gardening: The best time to prune roses – gets a ‘better response'

Gardening: The best time to prune roses – gets a ‘better response'


Roses are a staple of many British gardens. With more than 150 different species and thousands of hybrids, roses can be found in countless colours and shapes, blending in with any garden, wall, trellis or pot for a fragrant pop of colour. While growth is very slow during the winter and few plants are in bloom, the cold weather offers the perfect opportunity to prepare the plant ahead of spring.

Pruning perennial plants is crucial to guaranteeing their re-flowering process as the blooming season approaches.

Roses are just one of many popular perennials that should be pruned during winter when the sprawling stems are bare and woody.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) explained how pruning roses during their dormant window encourages a “better response” from the plant as the warmer weather arrives.

They said: “Renovation can be carried out at any time between late autumn and late winter. 

“It is easier to see what you are doing when the rose is not in leaf, plus there is a better response from the rose, which should grow back vigorously the following spring.”

As the final days of January approaches, most types of roses are in their prime when it comes to pruning.

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While pruning is done to encourage new growth, the method by which it is done should vary for younger and older climbers.

The RHS have created a guide to training and pruning young climbing roses.

They said to start by setting the lowest wire 45cm off the ground and space subsequent wires 30cm apart.

Twist shoots around the uprights of pillars, arches or pergolas to encourage flowering shoots to form low down.

Prune slow growing branches from the tip, back to the first strong buds to encourage side shoots.

Remove dead, damaged and diseased growth as well as spindly branches.

Established climbing roses should be approached with sharp secateurs to begin pruning dying branches.

Remove limp, dead and diseased growth before washing the tools and working on the rest of the vines without spreading disease.

The RHS recommends tying new shoots to fill supports and finishing by pruning flowered side shoots back by two-thirds of their length.

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