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When to cut back roses


Rose plants can be expensive initially, but the plants can continue to flourish for many years. To keep roses looking their best, pruning is essential. Read on to find out when and how to prune roses to keep them beautiful for years to come.

When should you cut back roses?

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) website states the best time to prune roses generally is late winter, so February to March.

However, the optimum time to prune roses will differ depending on the types of roses you have.

Rambling roses are best pruned immediately after flowering in the summer.

READ MORE: When and how to plant gladioli, lilies and more – spring planting tips

Garden Design explains major pruning should usually be done in early spring after the last frost.

Alternatively, you can “let the roses tell you”, so look out for signs the roses have buds or leaf out.

In the summer months, deadheading not only removes unsightly dead flowers, but the process also encourages more roses to bloom.

After the first killing frost, Garden Design explains autumn is the time to trim longer stems to prevent them from snapping.

Long thick sleeves designed for pruning can also help to protect your arms, and you should consider other protections like eyewear, a hat and jacket.

Gardeners’ World state there are some “basic principles” of pruning all gardeners should bear in mind.

Gardeners’ World explain “cutting back hard will promote the strongest growth” and light pruning will likely result in “less vigour”.

When pruning roses, you should cut to an outward-facing bud.

You should also remove closely positioned stems and dead lengths of stem which don’t have any dormant buds on them.


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