Knowing how to prune roses properly will help your plants grow stronger and live longer. You’ll find everything you need to know about pruning rose bushes in Australia in this article, including shaping rose bushes and more.
In 7 easy steps, you’ll find out if you should remove leaves from rose bushes, remove dead branches and all the other things that could make the difference in the health of your roses. From cutting the stems to forming an ideal bush shape, pruning can be broken down into seven simple steps.
Photo by Puck Milder on Unsplash.
What is pruning?
Pruning is the process of trimming certain parts of a plant to encourage better growth, better shape and remove the risk of diseases. It’s a horticultural and silvicultural practice which, if done correctly, can cause more shoots to grow where the plant has been cut to encourage a full-shaped and even plant.
Pruning can be used to:
- Remove diseased, dead, damaged, uneven or unwanted sections of a plant.
- Encourage growth where the plant has been cut.
- Give a plant an overall trim after flowering to bring it back to a full and even shape.
How do you prune roses?
The process of pruning roses can be broken down into 7 basic steps.
7 steps to prune roses:
1. Remove all leaves.
Removing all the leaves helps you see the structure of the rose bush with clear visibility of the stems. You also remove pests and diseases which may have been on the leaves.
2. Cut dead wood.
The next step to pruning your roses is to cut back any brown stems to the base. This removes the dead part and allows a new stem to grow.
3. Clear up the centre of the plant.
Remove any crossing branches rubbing against lateral branches, because branches crossing over others can cause diseases and damage healthy branches. An ideal plant will have upward-reaching branches and stems in a vase-like shape.
4. Remove weak branches.
If there are any branches thinner than a pencil, they should be removed as they are a sign of weak growth.
5. Prune the remaining branches.
Once you have removed leaves, dead wood, cross-branches or weak stems, prune the remaining branches. You’ll want to cut the remaining branches between a quarter to half inch above an outward-facing bud eye (the bump where the leaf meets the stem). Cut at an angle of 45 degrees, making the cut slope away from the bud (to allow water to run off). This will allow new stems the best chance to grow outward.
Optional: Use a protective seal.
You can use a pruning sealer to protect freshly cut stems from insects and disease. Simply brush the sealer onto the freshly cut stems to reduce the risk of insects, disease and rotting.
6. Clean up the area.
Ensure you remove all leaves and fallen branches from the plant and anywhere near the plant. These disregarded pieces may have insects and diseases on them, which can make their way back onto your plants, meaning all your hard work pruning your roses was for nothing.
7. Fertilise your roses.
You can use a fertiliser to give your roses the nutrients they need. Spread the fertiliser around the base of the rose bush and water, ideally three weeks after pruning.
While rose bushes should be fertilised every month regardless, ensure you’re using a high-quality fertiliser three weeks after pruning. Choose a fertiliser made for roses, spreading it around the base of the bush, watering after.
When to Prune Roses in Australia
ABC recommends the best time to prune roses is in winter (June or July) when the weather is cooler in Australia. However, if you live in a particularly cold area of Australia, waiting until early August may be best to prevent frost from damaging the new shoots.
Tips for Pruning Roses
- Remove thin and unhealthy stems.
- Remove dead branches up to the stump.
- Having a vase-like shaped bush allows better airflow.
- Don’t touch water shoots, which form at the end of stems and are olive green or pink, where flowers will bloom from.
Want to prune your roses, but don’t have enough time? You can find gardeners on Localsearch.com.au.