‘Keep them flowering all summer’: Garden pro on pruning roses – ‘be cruel to be kind’

Monty Don shares tips for pruning roses

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Many plants need to be pruned to be kept in their best condition and to ensure more flowers grow throughout the season. A gardener discussed why it is best to be “cruel to be kind” while pruning roses.

The gardener, who shares tips and tricks on @thatgardenguy, said: “The most famous flower, roses, you should all know them well. Let’s have a look at how to prune them today.”

In a video, he showed the perfect time to time to deadhead roses.

He said: “Here we have a climbing rose, and as you can see there are a few flower heads that have finished their flowering period.

“It’s best to remove these because it encourages the flowers around them to continue to grow and come into bloom.”

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The expert went on: “The famous saying ‘cruel to be kind’ is very prominent here, as you can see.

“This lovely flower head is almost at its time out, and I would say it’s time to remove it and it is inhibiting these three buds here.”

He demonstrated how the nearly spent flower shared a stem with buds waiting to come into their own.

The gardener said: “Losing one flower for the price of three, I would say is well worth it.

“Rose pruning is a job that’s best done slowly but it’s very rewarding. It keeps your roses flowering all summer.”

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When should you deadhead roses?

A rose flower is ready to be deadheaded when the petals have begun to fall from it.

Or, you could remove the flower when the petals have begun to lose their luster.

They may be faded and go brown on the tips.

How should you deadhead roses?

To deadhead roses, snip it off where the flower joins the stem.

If a whole cluster of flowers is fading, you can remove the entire flower head.

Simply trace it back to where it joins the stem and stop there.

How to care for roses in the summer

Deadheading is an important job, but there are a number of other important jobs to do at this time of year too if you want the best roses.

Remove diseased leaves

Rose leaves can easily pick up diseases, such as mildew, black spot, and rust.

If you spot signs of any of these on your rose leaves, remove them and throw them away.


Use a rose-specific fertiliser and apply it around the roots of each plant.

Make sure to stir it into the soil and give the roses a good water.

Another suitable fertiliser for roses is tomato fertiliser, which contains a number of the same nutrients roses like.

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Look out for rose rust

This popular disease attacks roses across the UK.

Symptoms include red and brown spots on the leaves.

Water roots

Of course, like most plants, roses need more water in the summer. Make sure yours get lots of what, especially if it has been dry.

Make sure to water roses around the roots.

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