Pruning an unknown rose
Perhaps if you've inherited a rose or lost the label - you may not know what type of rose you have. In which case, follow our basic tips below to get you started. Prune in February or March.
Climber or rambling type
If your rose has long arching stems, is very tall or needs some sort of support to hold it up then it is most likely a climber or rambler.
- Where there is only one thick old stem going down to ground level, go easy as it may not regenerate if cut hard back. Instead, shorten by between a third and a half
- For multi-stemmed roses, aim to take out one or two of the oldest looking stems (i.e. grey, flaky bark) to as near to the base as you can
- If the response the next season is for the rose to send out a lot of strong but barren (non-flowering) shoots, chances are it is a rambler. A rose that responds with less vigorous, flowering growth is probably a climber
Shrub or bush type
Very small roses are easy to recognise so follow our guide for patio and miniature roses. Larger roses might be any number of types, from hybrid tea and floribunda to species and shrub roses. If in doubt;
- Take out one or two stems as close to ground level as you can or to younger looking (green barked) side stems low down
- Shorten remaining stems by between a third and a half
- If the response the next season is lots of vigorous regrowth that flowers well, chances are it is a floribunda or hybrid tea
- Otherwise, it is more likely to be a type of shrub rose
Feed all pruned roses with a general purpose or rose fertiliser in spring. Mulch with garden compost or manure.