Roses of many colours and varieties are a common sight in English gardens and if properly looked after and maintained regularly will produce blooms throughout the summer and some varieties will even have a second bloom in the autumn months. Some people however are reluctant to grow roses in the garden because they feel that they need specialist care and pruning but with a bit of research and a good pair of secateurs there is nothing to fear.
The key to the successful growing of roses is in the pruning, a task that needs to be done correctly to give the optimum effect and so that an abundance of flowers will be produced. The main reason for pruning roses is to keep the plant healthy and compact because rose bushes that are not pruned will quickly become gangly and look very unattractive. Once a rose bush has been allowed to grow in this fashion it is extremely difficult to get it to look appealing again and many gardeners simply choose to dig the old untidy rose bush out and plant a new one.
There are two different types of pruning that can be used. The first is the traditional hard pruning method where the rose bush stems are pruned close to the ground and any weak and diseased stems are taken out completely. The other method of pruning rose bushes is to give the bush a light pruning again taking out any weak and diseased stems but leaving the other stems longer. When pruning, it is always advisable to cut on a slant just above an outward facing bud or leaf so that the plant grows evenly in an open way.
Once the rose pruning has been completed it is important to give the rose bush some fertiliser to aid growth. Good quality manure or well-rotted garden compost dug in around the base of the rose bush will give the plant some much needed nutrients and help it to produce beautiful blooms later in the year. Specialist rose food can be bought from most garden centres and can be sprinkled on the plants to give them an extra burst of potash and magnesium ensuring healthy foliage and beautiful flowers. Dead heading fading blooms every week or two will prolong the overall flowering time of the roses in the garden and will encourage most varieties of rose bush to flower again in the autumn.