Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Hedgehoggs Gardening Solutions: Early Spring Rose Care

Because the weather has been so mild this year, at Hedgehoggs gardening we delayed pruning established rose beds in the autumn as we waited for hard frost and winter to set in.  As spring starts to dawn, we're now ramping up our rose pruning more. In gardens subject to late, hard frosts, we would normally delay pruning until the end of March, but we don't think our London gardens are under much threat of that this year.

If roses are not pruned every year they can become full of dead and diseased wood, tangled in an unshapely mess. Without pruning, blooms become progressively smaller and because they are grown on weak shoots, their bloom time can be much shorter as well. Pruning every year not only gets rid of dead damaged wood, but as encourages healthy shapely growth.

Using sharp secateurs, we're now shortening long growths on bush roses to between 2-3 ft high to prevent wind damage, pruning newly planted and established standards, hybrid tea and floribunda bushes, miniature roses, established repeat-flowering shrub roses and repeat flowering climbers. (Climbers and weeping standards which only bloom once a year should not be pruned now.)

Where roses have black spot, we collect the leaves and burn them. Removal of leaf litter and diseased canes back to healthy wood is vital for reducing the spread of the disease in the year to come. Keeping rose bushes pruned well and deadheaded will help the airflow through the bush also helping prevent black spot and other fungal diseases.

Have some questions about rose care or need some help pruning your roses? Contact Hedgehoggs Gardening today!

Photo: Shutterstock