There are two things that help your roses flower and grow really well each year, and that’s lots of feeding and excellent pruning.
Giving them their annual trim also keeps them in good shape and helps them not get too tall, spindly and leggy. Shrub roses are best done in February, though if the weather in your area turns harsh, as it so often does these days in late winter, leave it till March.
Young roses – those that you’ve only grown and flowered for one season – should be sparingly trimmed. That is, any overlong shoots cut back to fit in with the rest of the shape, and flowering shoots trimmed by a few inches. In year two, prune a little more – cut back all stems by a third.
Each year after that, you can prune mature roses how you wish – perhaps a full renovation is in order, or alternatively you wish to create a taller plant? For a full on cut, prune back stems by at least a half, or to grow a taller rose bush don’t prune very much at all – under a third off each stem.
Never fear pruning roses – they’re resilient and will spring back if over- or under-pruned. Here’s some tips on getting it right.
Prune back as required – heavily for mature or overgrown shrubs, or lightly for young or well-shaped shrubs. Trim anywhere along the stem.
Always remove any foliage remaining on the plant, which has stayed put all winter. Diseases can lie dormant in leaves and attack again.
Trim off all dead, diseased, dying or damaged stems. This makes for a healthier, better-looking plant and removes the risk of disease.
From spring, spread rotted manure around your roses, and feed with shrubs and rose granules. Do this every few weeks up till late summer.