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How to prune roses in South Africa – light summer pruning and severe winter pruning

How you should prune your roses in Southern Africa – Selecting a pruning method:

There are 2 dominant forms of rose pruning used in South Africa namely:
summer rose pruning which is also known as light rose pruning and winter rose pruning which is also known as heavy rose pruning. In almost all cases both summer and winter pruning of roses is necessary for best results.

View these definitions and use the questions that follow to select the rose pruning type which best siuts your intentions and type of rose.

Summer rose pruning or Light rose pruning in South Africa:

Most roses benefit from summer pruning. This is not as severe as winter pruning, but it helps to keep the size of the rose bush manageable and promotes new growth for a longer flowering period.

Summer or light rose pruning also promotes a deeper and wider root system and helps the rose tolerate fluctuations in water availability and temperature.

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.

Ask yourself these questions to help you pick the right pruning type for your roses

  • What season is it now or in which season do you plan to prune your roses?
  • What type of rose bush are you pruning?  – see different types of rose bushes.
  • What would you like to achieve by pruning your roses?– see Why should you prune your roses in South Africa?
  • Are you pruning the rose to reinvigour the plant?
  • Are you pruning the rose to alter its shape or growth habit?
  • Are you pruning the rose to promote flowering, new growth and lengthen the flowering period of the rose?

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