Allotment gardeners who want to regularly surprise their loved ones with fresh roses have to do something about it. Because the popular flowers with the prickly branches need to be looked after and cared for, especially after the cold winter months, in order to be able to unfold their full splendor in summer. And not just once, but ideally several times. To ensure that second flowers follow the first flower, there are a few things to consider. Mistakes can have fatal consequences, especially when pruning the roses. We explain what hobby gardeners most often do wrong when pruning roses and how to do it right.
A good rose scissors made of stainless steel costs around 50 euros in specialist shops. Of course, cheaper models do the same. However, always make sure that the blades are sharp. If you attack the shoots with blunt scissors, they could be crushed or torn off. So you injure the plant - and that can affect the growth of the entire rose bush. Rose shears must also be cleaned regularly and thoroughly. This will prevent the rose from being attacked by germs or fungal spores.
Older rose breeds in particular cannot grow back. Their trick: you put on the flower buds in the previous year and then only unfold their full beauty once – in early summer. The problem: no new flowers form on the new shoots in the same year. So they don't have a single flower in summer if they are pruned in the spring in a similarly radical way as roses that bloom more often. Tip: Only lightly thin out such roses in spring so that the crown does not become too dense.
The eyes, i.e. the places where a rose can form side shoots, play an important role when pruning roses. With a little imagination, a rose eye resembles a mouth with a tongue out. And it is precisely these that should not be approached too closely when pruning in spring. If you cut the shoot too close to an eye or side shoot, they could dry out. What would remain – instead of a fragrant blossom – would be an ugly stump. Therefore, place the scissors about five millimeters above the top eye and cut the shoot off at a slight angle downwards. This means that no water can collect at this point, which offers a perfect breeding ground for pathogens.
Of course, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. But even hobby gardeners should be a bit vain. So that passers-by can enjoy your rose bushes even more, you should try to give the bush a horizontal umbrella shape. This is only possible if you make sure that the shoots are only clipped over the buds that are growing outwards or the eyes that point outwards. Because the inside of the rose should be kept as light and airy as possible. So if you cut off the shoot above an inward "looking" eye, the new side shoot will also grow inwards.
The question that hobby gardeners probably ask themselves most frequently when they are standing in front of the rose bush with the rose scissors (here an anvil model from Löwe): How hard can I prune? The rule of thumb for all types is: the larger and stronger the rose, the less you cut it back. As a result, with the rather delicate bedding and hybrid tea roses, the five strongest shoots should be shortened to three to five in spring and the rest cut off. The following applies to shrub roses: cut back to a maximum of half the length of the shoot. Otherwise, long and unstable shoots will develop. The procedure for climbing roses is different again. Here the previous year's shoots remain uncut and are only slightly thinned out.
And one last tip: even if your fingers are tingling sooner. Be patient and wait until no more severe (night) frosts are to be expected before pruning roses. A good indicator of the right time is the yellow blossom of the forsythia. Depending on the weather, walkers can enjoy it between the middle/end of March and the beginning of April.
Sources: "ndr.de"; "My beautiful garden"; "Garden Care Tips"
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