Severe rose pruning or winter rose pruning in South Africa:
In South Africa winter pruning of roses or severe rose pruning is generally done in late winter, during June – August. This pruning type helps stimulate rejuvenation and produce longer stems and can also be used to train the rose plant.
With a sharp and clean secateurs start the rose pruning by cutting off all the top growth. This will help you get a better view of the framework of the rose bush. A general rule of thumb with winter rose pruning is to start removing the top third of the plant.
Remove and prune away any diseased or dead wood, as well as old and misshapen stems. This will help to improve the shape of the rose bush. (as a rule of thumb, remove all stems thinner than a pencil)
Keep last year’s growth, which will be paler green or have a reddish tinge and prune away older stems, which are usually grey-brown in colour.
Inspect the rose bush and select three to five of last year’s stems from the bottom of the plant, these should be well spaced to form an open cup shape – and prune them off at about knee height.
Remember to remove all but the diseased plant material to the compost heap after pruning your roses.