Tuesday, 9 July 2013

When to prune roses in Sydney

Mid to late July is the commonly accepted time to prune roses in warm temperate Sydney. While this is true for most roses there are many plants that should not be touched at this time. So before you get out your saw and secateurs you need to know what kind of rose you have. Common roses that can be pruned now include Iceberg, Queen Elizabeth, Just Joey and Peace.

Not all roses should be pruned in winter.
This spring flowering climber should be pruned
immediately after its spring flowering

The most commonly grown roses found in our gardens are Hybrid Tea's. These are a group of shrubs which became increasingly grown during the last century. Originally favoured by florists for their superior blooms they soon became popular with home gardeners. In frost free areas these plants are best pruned in mid winter, but in colder areas their annual haircut should be delayed until early spring. 

Like surgery on humans, clean and sharp tools are essential for rose pruning as there is less chance of introducing diseases to the plant. Make sure you are protected from rose thorns with sturdy garden gloves and try to use some form of eye protection. Many are baffled on the right way to prune a rose bush but generally you should try to cut the plant back by about a quarter of its original size and concentrate on removing old stems and diseased foliage. After your prune try and spray with lime sulphur. When you have removed all the prunings take time to weed around the base of the plant.

In a future post I'll look at the right time to prune other types of roses.

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