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Friday, 24 February 2012

Pruning Roses

We pruned our rose bushes today. There are two main reasons why roses should be pruned. Firstly, to remove old, very spindly, diseased and overcrowded stems. And secondly, to ensure the centre is opened up to obtain maximum light and air and to keep the bush to a good shape.

All you need to prune roses are good sharp pair of secateurs and a thick pair of gardening gloves to protect you from rose thorns.

Aim to reduce the bushes height by about a half and always prune at a 45 degree angle and about 5mm above an outward facing bud to encourage outward growth rather than inwards to avoid overcrowding the centre.

Rather than dump all your cuttings you may want to propagate some to provide more bushes for your garden or to pass on to friends. Pick out 6-8 healthy looking young stems and cut to about 15-20cm long leaving some leaves at the top. Slice to remove some bark from the bottom of each stem and dip in rooting hormone before inserting into a suitable sized pot filled with fine potting compost which has been moistened. Once all stems have been inserted into the pot, cover with a plastic bag and secure to keep in the moisture. Place in a warm area in full sun and the stems will root in 6-8 weeks.

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