Roses are considered the symbol of love as they emit a radiant elegance and beauty. If your garden is in need of a beautiful splash of colour, roses will always be the recommended flower as there are a variety of vibrant blooms to choose from.
We know that it is important to prune roses in winter, but what you might not know is that pruning your roses in summer will help keep them healthy and disease-free so they can produce gorgeous blooms for the next season.
How to prune roses in summer
This simple eight-step guide explains all the basics of pruning roses in summer. Australia can have very aggressive sun in summer so keep in mind that you don’t want to cut your stems too low otherwise you run the risk of sunburnt stems.
Step 1: Remove all damaged leaves
Doing this will remove any disease or pests from your rose, while also allowing you to see the structure of your rose bush so you can clearly see all the stems.
Step 2: Cut out the dead wood
Cut your stems to see what colour they reveal. If they’re dry and brown it means they’re dead, but if they’re green then they’re living. Cut back any deadwood to its base to allow the living limbs to continue growing.
Step 3: Open the centre of the plant
Ideally, you want branches that reach up in a vase-like shape with an open structure. Removing any crossing branches will help to prevent damage and disease resulting from rubbing.
Step 4: Remove weak growth
A simple rule to keep in mind is to remove anything thinner than a pencil. These thin growths will not produce anything viable and, if anything, will hinder the rest of your rose bush from being able to blossom to full potential.
Step 5: Prune the remaining stems
A bud eye refers to the small bumps found where a leaf would meet the stem. Prune by cutting ¼” to ½” above any outward-facing bud eyes. Cut at a 45-degree angle sloping away from the bud. Remember, new stems grow in the direction of the bud so you want to encourage your stems to grow outward and not inward.
Step 6: Seal your cut stems
Sealing fresh cut stems with a pruning sealer will help protect your roses bush from rot.
Step 7: Clean up
When you finish pruning, remember to dispose of any leaves and cut branches that surround your rose bush to prevent any pests or disease that could be lurking.
Step 8: Your roses are hungry
Roses need proper nutrition. Keep them healthy by feeding them with a long-lasting fertiliser.
As there are a variety of different roses, finding out when to prune roses in summer and what pruning techniques are best for your type of rose can help make a whole world of difference to your bloom.
Most of these steps apply to when you’re pruning climbing roses in summer, except it is important to remember the way that climbing roses grow. Climbing roses have two types of stems. The main stem grows from the base, and then the flowers will bloom from lateral stems.
It is unnecessary to fuss about pruning the outward-facing buds for climbing roses as it is the pruning of lateral stems that encourages blooming. It is recommended that climbing roses are pruned from early to mid summer after the spring/early summer bloom.
Shrub roses are the easiest to maintain as they require little to no pruning except to remove dead or damaged growth. Regardless of whether your shrub roses bloom once a year or repeatedly, there is much benefit in deadheading. Doing this can promote a longer bloom period and you might even be lucky enough to get a second bloom!
Ideally, you want to keep your shrub roses large. When pruning these plants only do so little by little and only prune what is necessary to maintain the plant’s shape.
Knock Out Roses
While some shrub roses only bloom once or twice a year, knock out roses are lucky to bloom repeatedly every five to six weeks during their growing season. Prune your knock out roses when you start to see new shoots forming on the stems.
As knock-out roses tend to triple in size after pruning, it is recommended you prune them to roughly a third of the desired final size.
Removing a third of old growth every two to three years will help rejuvenate your knock out roses. Just like many other rose types, you should be removing any dead or damaged wood on your knock out roses when you see it, but when you should not deadhead your knock out roses.
When to prune roses in summer
Pruning your roses in summer is not as intricate as your winter rose prune.
Think of summer pruning as a way to keep your roses looking well-maintained and healthy. Dead flowers can be cut back at any time in summer to encourage more blooms and a more visually appealing rose bush. Be sure to also continuously look out for any dead stems as these will need to be removed to help encourage growth.
When learning how to prune your roses in summer there are definitely a few helpful tips you can keep in mind to make your life easier and your roses happier.
Tip #1: Gloves
Roses stems can be prickly little things and the last thing you want when pruning your rose bush is to catch a jab to the finger. Wearing sturdy work gloves will help protect your hands so you can concentrate on giving your rose bush the best prune possible.
Tip #2: Cut away from the centre
No one likes a rose bush that looks like a tangled mess. Make your cuts to a bud away from the centre as buds facing the centre will grow a tangle of shoots in the middle of your rose bush.
Tip #3: Trust your gardener instincts
Is that some deadwood? Prune it. Does that stem look thin and weak? Prune it. Trust yourself as a gardener to make the right choice purely by using your observations. Don’t worry too much about making a mistake, it will grow back.
Whether you’re looking to do some pruning or planting, here at Garden Express we have your rose garden essentials. If you need some greenthumb guidance feel free to give us a call on 1300 606 242.