Pruning Roses and Shrubs
The middle of March is a good time to start thinking about pruning roses and shrubs. They will be just starting to shoot new buds, so it is best to prune before they form full blooms. Always use sharp and clean secatuers.
Roses should be cut approx 5mm above a bud. The cut should ideally be on a slope and towards the outside of the plant, to allow runoff of water. Cut out any dead wood on established plants. Now would be a good time to consider whether any other shoots might be taken out to improve the shape of the rose and airflow through the plant. Established bush roses can be cut back to 5 to 6 buds (15cm) from the base of the plant. Climbers can be cut back and trained to spaces where you wish them to flower this year. Spring is also a good time to consider feeding the roses, to help with healthy and strong blooms.
Shrubs can also be pruned, if they are not spring flowering! If they are - leave them until after they have flowered! Some examples of pruning include -
Buddleji - cut back old wood on the plant to as much as 15cm from the ground. If left longer, you will get a taller plant.
Forsythia - do not prune in the first few years, other years always do after flowering. Cut back to 2 to 3 buds.
Hebe - these plants grow from the foliage tips, so it is only possible to trim the plants lightly.
For further more specific advice, call or visit our experts in the garden centre.