All roses require regular and adequate pruning. Pruning is in fact the most important operation for the future life of these plants, as well as for flowering. When it is well done it corrects the shape, stimulating the vegetation and significantly influencing flowering, both in terms of distribution and volume.
The various species require a different intervention, while the best age (with the exception of climbing plants) is the period of 2-3 weeks prior to the vegetative restart, that is from 15-20 January to 15-20 March, according to the latitude, exposure and altitude. In any case, it should never be pruned during the intense cold months.
Before proceeding to pruning of roses It is good practice to check that the work tools are in a good state of maintenance: in particular the scissors must be sharp and well-defined.
It should also be borne in mind that most roses produce flowers on the branches of the year. For this reason, if you prune in the wrong period, you risk compromising the flowering of the season. There are also roses that bloom on the branches of the previous year (eg generally all climbing roses and some bush roses). These roses should be pruned just after flowering.
Most roses are grafted. In fact, by using a vigorous rootstock, a better developed root system is obtained. During the growth of the plant it often happens that suckers form from the roots (recognizable by the different foliage). These branches also produce flowers, but they are often of little ornamental value and for this reason they must be cut. The cut must be net and grazing the point of the root from which the branch appears. If the sucker grows far from the plant it is not enough to cut it on the ground, but it will have to go up to the root.
The following are the pruning methods for the different portions.
All roses planted in the winter period must be pruned in early spring. Instead, roses planted in spring are pruned when they are planted (see fig. 1). All the damaged branches are cut and those that grow inward to form a kind of bowl (see fig. 2). Always prune in correspondence of the outward facing gems. You leave about 3-4 gems.
The little or poorly developed rose bushes are pruned to the extent that they are strengthened. With a light pruning, in fact, the weak branches tend to stretch still further, weakening further. Instead, the vigorous ones are pruned so that they can vent their exuberance in the vegetation and in the bloom. An excessive pruning of these branches, in fact, would make a lot of shoots grow that would remove the sap from the branches destined for flowering. Then remove all the suckers that developed during the winter. Cut all dry or damaged branches and old ones. As a general rule, three to four buds must be left on the weakest branches and five to six buds on the strongest branches. Always prune in correspondence of the outward facing gems.
Types of roses
Young and adult plants
The sapling roses they are pruned like the bush roses. Keep in mind the characteristics of the cultivated varieties.
Climbing roses must be pruned leaving the strongest branches (leave five or six buds) and cutting off the weakest branches.
As already mentioned, they must generally be pruned in summer, after flowering. Old branches are cut that have bloomed more than once. The branches of a year must be shortened to two or three buds. In any case, cut all the secondary branches. Eliminate the withered flowers and the vegetation that was born from the roots of the grafted plant.
All roses planted in the winter period must be pruned in early spring. Instead, roses planted in spring are pruned when planted.
The first year after the repotting all the branches will be cut into three or five buds according to their robustness.
Eliminate all the suckers that developed during the winter. Cut all dry and damaged branches. As a general rule, five to six gems must be left. Always prune in correspondence of the outward facing gems.
Pruning of roses: How to make the cut
A very important aspect of the pruning of roses It is the mode with which the cut is made. In addition to variable parameters such as the period, the type of pruning that is carried out and the age of the roses, there are aspects of pruning roses that are fixed and must always be taken into consideration.
These are fine but very important details for the success of pruning interventions and to avoid the onset of mold and fungus following pruning operations.
One of the first steps to take is related to how to make the cut or to the angle and inclination to keep in the cut. The pruning cut of the roses must in fact be diagonal and oblique to the ground. This feature makes it possible to slide the rainwater that falls on the freshly pruned roses. It is very important that the water slips away from the cutting surface and does not stagnate because otherwise it could give rise to mold, rot and the entry of fungus. The cutting angle must be oblique but without exaggerating and one must try to cut at an angle of about 45 °.
Another aspect to keep in mind is the position of the gems with respect to the cut. The cut must in fact be made not too far and not too close to the gem, so to speak halfway.