Following our January garden tips, we would like to share with you some jobs for the garden you can do in February. This week we will talk about pruning roses!
If you haven’t done so already, prune your roses. With roses, we are looking for a “goblet” shape with no crowding or crossing of branches in the centre – having those will encourage and give habitat to a variety of pests and diseases. A nice clear centre encourages good airflow. The first thing we always look at is the 3 D’s – Dead, Diseased and Damaged – cut out the deadwood, prune back any dieback shoots to the healthy white pith and tidy up damaged shoots to an appropriate bud.
Always cut to an outward-facing bud to encourage this shape, and if a dormant bud is not immediately visible simply cut to the appropriate height. Cuts should ideally be no more than 5mm (1/4 inch) above a bud and sloping downwards so that water does not collect on the bud – apply this rule to all your cuts whether it is removing dead wood, annual pruning or deadheading throughout the flowering period. Keep your secateurs clean and sharp with good maintenance and anti-bac wipes.
Cuts should be no more than 5mm (¼ in) above a bud and should slope downwards 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.
Except for climbing and shrub roses, prune hard to encourage vigorous shoots in the new season. If it is a very established old rose, cut out flowering wood that is not performing and saw off any old stubs that have failed to produce new shoots.
Feed with a good slow-release fertilizer and mulch well – roses love Hot Heads and Cold Feet! This is also a good time to step back from your rose garden, assess the colour profiles and plant new roses to ensure good water root growth before the summer months.