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How to prune climbing roses


1st Jan 2015 Home & Garden

How to prune climbing roses

Depending on the variety, roses can grow upright neatly or in a free-flowering manner. Here are some tips to keep things under control.

1. One of the most important points to keep in mind if you have climbing roses is do not delay pruning - it will only become more difficult. Yearly attention pays dividends in improved appearance, better flowering, and easier maintenance.

2. Some climbers naturally produce more new canes than others and thus require heavier pruning to prevent undisciplined growth. But basically, all dead or weak wood should be removed in spring. 

3. In summer, as soon as the flowers have faded, cut back the laterals on which they were borne to within 2 or 3 buds of the main canes. Some of the older canes can be cut back to the base each spring on varieties that bloom just once. On all other climbers, remove old canes only when necessary to shape the plant or to prevent overcrowding.

4. New leaders, which are larger in diameter than the laterals, may appear high up on old canes. Cut these back to just above the new growth.

5. Tips of laterals that are too long can be pruned back at any time.

6. As new leaders develop, be sure to tie them to the supports. Later on they will be less supple.