With February giving subtle hints of spring, Britons have the opportunity to prepare their rose shrubs for abundant flowering.
Not only do flowering plants bloom for longer when pruned ahead of the March equinox, but they can also multiply in numbers. An expert told GB News the best time to do this depends on the weather.
Pruning, a ritual that describes the removal of dead roots to allow new growth, boosts the flower’s defences against disease, says gardening expert Andrea Philips, from Airtasker.
The expert said that timing the process correctly will stop the flowers from succumbing to the harsh conditions of winter.
Pruning roses with the right equipment will protect them from disease
Philips explained: “Nothing adds beauty to a garden like a healthy rose bush, and if you learn how to prune roses the right way, your flowers will see a long lifespan.
“The best time to prune roses is when things are a little colder with a touch of frost. If possible, delay your pruning until the end of winter or early spring.
“We do this because we do not want tender new rose shoots being burnt by the frost.”
A common misconception about pruning among beginners could result in decreased flowering, however.
“One common mistake those new to pruning roses may is avoiding pruning just because the roses are still holding on to leaves and flowers,” explained Philips.
“The time of year and the weather are more important than the state of your rose bush so remove the flowers and leaves as you prune.”
The expert continued: “Pruning ensures the health of your rose bushes. By pruning in winter, you are cleaning up areas of your bush where diseases can form and infect your roses in the upcoming spring.
“For this same reason, it is also important to clean up the areas around your roses, clearing flannel leaves and spraying a fungicide which can help reduce the severity of any disease that may form.”
Pruning roses will ensure they can enjoy a longer lifespan
For optimal results, gardeners should ensure pruning sheers are maintained every four to six weeks, keeping the cutters sharp and clean.
Failure to maintain the gardening tool could leave stems with rugged cuts, making them vulnerable to infection.
Roses are one of several deciduous shrubs that need special attention in February for a successful yield in Spring.
The Royal Horticultural Society lists Hydrangea Paniculata, Leycesteria, Fuchsias and other varieties in need of regular pruning.