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With the daytime slowly getting longer it is time for winter pruning. Rose pruning is easy if you follow the right principles.
The purpose of pruning woody plants is to regulate the flowering to increase the quality of fruit or flower production and to regulate the growth, specifically height and spread. The general principles of rose pruning are the same for all climatic regions in South Africa.
Most bush rose varieties perform better on younger stems. Younger looking basal stems are retained and older woody ones cut out. Grey coloured stems and prickles indicate it is an older stem.
The final cutting back of the retained main stems should be at an even height.
The final cut at the top of the retained cut should be a level 45°.
One expects the top three eyes on a cane to sprout and it is not necessary to cut back to an outside facing eye.
All remaining leaves should be pulled off. The sugary sap in them is stagnant at this stage and becomes a favourite food for spider mites and other sucking insects.
Sealing the cuts and spryaing a fungicide like Kumulus can help to prevent early infections during spring.
If colonies of scale insects are detected on the remaining stems it is best to brush them off.
Spraying the remaining stems with an oily solution such as Ludwig’s Insect Spray or even the Ludwig’s Cocktail at twice the recommended summer solution will control any eggs and spores of fungus diseases and also seal the cuts from the stem borer wasp.
If the rose beds dried out somewhat before the pruning it is important to water or irrigate them well after pruning.
Lastly it is good practice to cover the base of your rose bushes with a fresh layer of mulch. This will help to retain water, reduce weed germination and provide nutrients to your plants.
Join us this Friday 8 July 2022 for our FREE online workshop on: ‘Toxic Beauty – Poisonous Plants in your Garden’, with Garden Guru Sue Both.
Please use the following login details to join us at 11am sharp over Zoom:
Meeting ID: 894 7873 2869
or use the following direct link: https://bit.ly/3NNx6Pw