Here is a simple guide to getting great roses in spring. Many people believe roses to be a difficult plant to look after. The general rule of gardening and in fact life itself is; what you put in is what you get out! With roses, following this simple strategy will give your bushes the bases they need to make a very large impact in your garden and give you the prolonged flowering display worthy of their reputation. You can apply these techniques to most of your deciduous shrubs that need to be pruned during this season, another example being your hydrangeas.
You will need a good pair of secateurs, decent gloves, a spray mask, a sterile seal, organic mulch, organic rose food and organic sprays for funguses and insects.
My rule of thumb is to cut off 2 thirds of any branches that are thicker than a pencil, depending on the eventual size you want your plants next year and the maturity of the plant.
You can clean off lateral shoots thinner than a pencil but don’t be as harsh with them as they still need to reach a potential to give the plant good ramification i.e. bushiness.
You want to cut the plant just above the nodes of the stem coming from the base of the plant upwards. You can identify the nodes as they are swollen points of the stem where the growth hormones are most concentrated.
Cuts are to be made at a 45 degree angle to encourage more lateral growth and so that excess water does not settle on the cuts and cause rotting.
After you have finished pruning your roses apply the sterile seal to the cuts thicker than a pencil and spray the plants with the preventative dosages indicated on your selected sprays, unless your plants already have either a fungus or insects attacking it.
Finally carefully remove all the stems with leaves containing black spot (if you have it) off the ground on the fallen branches, apply your organic rose food around the base (I like using ‘sudden impact’), and give a good mulching around the base of the plant.
If it has not rained for a long time give the plant a good deep water, remember roses like fewer applications of water but for much longer periods.
You should now have great roses next year if you follow my simple and easy guide.
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