Country gardeners try to prune their roses on the last week of January. This usually ensures many more buds and flowers forming on the roses later in the year. The old saying is:
- January prune for July bloom.
Bush roses are best pruned right back to within a few inches of the ground. The small buds should be appearing on the stems and to help the bush to form pretty and symmetrical shapes it is best to look for an outward facing bud then snip slightly above about half the width of a fingernail, cutting away all of last year’s growth. Check for any dead wood or branches and cut away those as well. Dead wood often allows disease to climb into the plant and leads to a weakened root system. Once the job has been completed then sprinkle some dry fertiliser around the plant either pellet or powder.
All roses appear to form into healthier plants if they are pruned back harshly and this prevents them from creating too many flimsy and weak branches which either never produce blooms or produce withering buds. Watch carefully for branches that come from below the soil line. If these produce leaves that are different to the rest of the plant then cut these right back as they are known as suckers and originate from the original wild root stock. If these are allowed to develop then the whole plant is in danger to becoming weak and eventually could revert back to its wild root stock origins.
Prune harshly, snip just above an outward facing leaf bud.