For the love of roses! Re-think your pruning!

I have a confession to make….I love roses, I love all their forms and all their colours and all of their fragrances….I adore them! Despite what some may say roses are very drought resistant, hardy plants and have, I think over the last ten or so years gotten a very bad wrap for not being water wise, this is simply not true. Roses are in fact very water wise and will easily survive a hot dry summer on two waterings per week and very little else, maybe a nice smile every now and again, a bit of dead heading and a handful of fertiliser. Some say that roses are lots of work-piffle- I say, to that-no more work than any other garden plant, you just need a little bit of knowledge…

Today I checked in on a garden that I pruned late August and the stunning Pierre De Ronsard wired against a fence is just heaving with divine blooms and it prompted me to let you all in on my secret..

Each year, I prune a lot of roses, not only my own and those in my client’s gardens and can’t tell you how many scratches, cuts and splinters I endured for my craft this past pruning season….so in saying that I reckon I know a thing or two about successful pruning.

Timing is everything…

I prune very late compared to many others in Perth. I’m not quite sure why some people prune in June because most roses are still in full bloom during our Autumn season because our seasons tend to sort of run together without clear definition. I start pruning roses for my clients in August and by the time the last rose is pruned it’s usually mid September and then I prune my own!-


OK- you ask- so, why do you prune so late?

I prune at this time of the year for a number of reasons but mostly because I’m an impatient gardener and I like to decrease the time between the bare wood and bud burst-I think that this decreases the opportunity for fungal diseases to get their hold into the plant. My roses and those of my clients are strong and healthy. Every rose is pruned and then immediately sprayed with Lime Sulphur-it absolutely stinks but it works. Roses must be sprayed before the cell walls close up to be effective, leave them a day after pruning and you are wasting your time and money spraying them at all. I do not need to treat roses for black spot-no spraying-I do not get infestations of aphids and this is because I dont’ spray so that the beneficial insects like hover flies and ladybirds keep the aphids in check-nature doing the work for me-so there you have it …I have a garden full of beautiful blooms and it’s only six weeks since I pruned mine!

So next year-why not think about pruning later than you normally would-you wont regret it!

These images are all roses blooming in my garden today-enjoy~

Happy Gardening