Monty Don shares how to prune roses now for ‘healthy’ plants

Monty Don shares how to cut topiary and hedges on Gardeners’ World

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After months of hot, dry weather, thunderstorms and heavy rain will be a welcome sight for many gardeners. As the weather cools down, now is the perfect opportunity for gardeners to get out in the garden and tackle some autumn jobs. On his latest blog post, Monty Don shared some of the jobs gardeners need to be tackling in September.

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Monty, who is the lead host of popular BBC gardening programme Gardeners’ World, said one of the tasks gardeners can do now is prune their shrub roses.

The 67-year-old said many people are “anxious” about pruning roses but that many shrub varieties are “best trimmed” this month.

Monty wrote: “I know that some gardeners are anxious about pruning roses but the many shrub varieties such as the gallicas, ‘english’ roses, albas or Hybrid Perpetuals are best simply trimmed with shears any time this month.

“Do not worry about the position or angle of the cuts but clip away all long, straggly shoots as though you were trimming a hedge, leave a compact, slightly domed bush that is about two thirds of its former size.

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“In March, when you can see clearly without any foliage, you can inspect the shrub to remove any damaged or rubbing stems, but a simple shear in September is enough to keep it healthy and packed with flower next year.”

Rose pruning will ensure the plant grows more vigorously and flower well next year.

Gardeners need to ensure they remove soggy, old and shrivelled-looking flowers to prevent any rot or diseases setting in.

For varieties that produce rose hips, just remove the petals and allow the hip to develop.

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When pruning, remove dead, diseased or damaged wood and any branches that appear to be rubbing together or look spindly.

Look out for leaves that look diseased either with black spots, mildew or rust-coloured marks.

Later in the autumn, gardeners can actually move their roses if they think they’re in the wrong position.

Autumn is also a great time to plant new roses as they then have time to become well-established throughout the winter months.

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Buying roses as bare-root plants from November through to March is a cheaper alternative as they require fewer resources to maintain.

There are a plethora of shrub rose varieties that can be found in British gardens.

Varieties of shrub rose include Rosa The Queen’s Jubilee, Rosa ‘Geranium’, Rosa ‘Madame Hardy’ and Rosa ‘Penelope’.

Shrub roses are tough and hardy, often producing masses of flowers in the summer through to autumn.

These varieties of rose will often look best in a wild garden or a cottage garden that’s less formal.

Shrub roses love fertile soil, full sun and lots of space to grow upwards and outwards. They do not like lots of shade or waterlogged, damp soil.

Some shrub roses can be shaped and treated as climbers, either growing up pergolas, fences or arches.

Gardeners’ World airs on September 9 at 8pm on BBC Two.

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