We’re always being asked how to make the most of roses and how to look after them. Many people think roses are tricky, but they’re not really and indeed many people don’t do anything with their roses but to get the best from your plants a little pruning is advisable.
The most popular types – bush, hybrid teas and floribundas and the climbers – will benefit from pruning during early March. When pruning any rose start by cutting out dead, diseased, damaged, rubbing or crossing stems. For the bush Hybrid Teas and floribundas prune back the remaining stems by about half to two-thirds. Generally speaking the thinner the stem the harder it should be pruned. Climbing roses produce their flowers on sideshoots formed from a permanent framework of branches. So after cutting out dead and dying shoots, prune back these sideshoots by about two-thirds. Old fashioned shrub roses and ground cover roses require very little pruning. Simply remove the dead, diseased and dying stems and then trim to shape. After pruning feed with a granular rose fertiliser to ensure a mass of perfect blooms, then mulch the soil with composted bark or well-rotted manure and to be on the safe side spray with an insecticide and/or fungicide to protect against any possible future problems.