Reducing the Height of Bush Roses (Video)

How to prune bush and shrub Roses to prepare them for Autumn & Winter

Andy, our Nursery Manager, has been busy trimming bush roses, especially the bigger ones, as they can get blown about in autumn gales and suffer from windrock. This loosens their roots and prevents them growing away well in spring. This is beneficial for all roses except climbers and ramblers, especially if they are in an exposed location. 

You will need secateurs, and possibly gloves. 


This time of the year, try to reduce all the roses by about a third. It saves them getting blown around with the wind and the Autumn gales, which just rocks the roots: it's called wind-rock. If they get too high, they rock around like that, and they just don't get away very well. So, this time of year, we try to get rid of all this old, thin, spindly growth, and it just makes it easy to prune in the spring, when you come down to give them a proper prune.

Look at it, decide where you want to go, and what I've tried to do is vase shaped to the middle. So, a lot of this is all crossing over, so we're trying to take this down...that's about right. 

You can take all of the thin spindly shoots off, take any snags or any dead wood that's died over the summer. Take all that out, at any dead snags from old pruning cuts, like that one there. If you don't take it away, it'll just keep on going further and further down stem. So, a nice clean cut, take it straight off. 

Any old prunings, burn them, put them on bonfire, but don't compost them* because they'll carry fungal diseases, anything like that. So, in the spring, when we come to prune it again, we'll follow these shoots down, find a bud, and then prune it hard back, prune it back to an outward facing bud, and then you'll get a nice bowl shaped rose, with plenty of flowers on top.

*Unless you are really confident about your compost temperature. If in doubt, leave them out!

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Thank you, The Ashridge Nurseries Team.

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