Bush Roses – Pruning tips

When to prune: Prune during the end of winter when you do not expect severe cold conditions. Do not prune when the soil is wet. Prune while eyes are dormant and before they start to develop.

Dead wood: Remove all the old dead wood.

Where to prune: Cut all the stems back to the lowest green, healthy wood which normally would be around 40cm from ground level. Prune above an eye and leave 3 to 4 eyes on the stem.

Allow light to enter the plant: Remove some of the stems growing to the inside of the bush in order to allow sunlight to enter the bush. Look for three or four main stems and remove the rest.

Compost: Spread compost over the beds (500gm to 1kg of good quality compost per square meter).

Lime sulphur: Spray the plants and soil with lime sulphur. Do not spray lime sulphur on plants with active growing eyes or foliage – it will burn the eyes and leaves. Lime sulphur will control fungi spores on the plants and in the ground. Remember that lime sulphur should be fresh – old stock is not effective.

Watering: Give a small amount of water immediately after pruning. Remove the water stress but be careful not to give too much water – too much water during this dormant growth phase will cause root rot. Irrigate at least weekly from now on and increase the amount of water with rising temperatures.

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