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Talkback: How to look after roses in autumn

I have been told it's best to prune roses in January It seems to do them no harm. Should I change to atum pruning?

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I have been told it's best to prune roses in January

It seems to do them no harm. Should I change to atum pruning?

I think with new  rose plants, if they have finished flowering,then taking off some of the top growth in autumn will reduce wind rock in winter storms. However if you hard prune down now, you run the risk of fresh new growth being damaged by frosts.I would do the hard prune down in March, and give a feed at the same time. I treat buddlejas the same.

I agree with fidget - cut down any tall growth in autumn ( by about a third) to stop wind rock, then prune properly in about March, avoiding very frosty periods. I then feed with potash in March and mulch with manure, then feed with rose food end April and again in June.

Same here DahliaSlave, March plus an organic feed and mulch.

star gaze lily

Books say now or march-early april depending on weather. I usually do mine around march time and they always look ok  



Apart from shortening long stems to prevent wind rock in autumn and winter gales, mine get done in March or early April depending on what kind of winter we've had.  That means I can prune off any wood killed by hard frosts and see where the new shoots are coming from and prune back to those to keep the shrubs open and airy which helps prevent disease such as mildew later on in the season.

Kate C

Do climbing roses have to be treated differently to bush roses? We have one that is now too tall and will be massively high next year if it doesn't get pruned. Any advice please? Thank you.

Kate C

Thank you for your speedy reply obelixx. The article is just what I needed to see, very clear and informative. Also, having looked at that I now know for sure that it is a climber and not a rambler as I was beginning to wonder because of the size it's got to. It's still flowering and has had masses of flowers throughout the summer. Not bad for north(ish) facing in the far north of Scotland!

Many thanks , it's appreciated.


Glad to be of help.  Do you know what variety it is?  Roses that are good for northern apsects are not that common.

Kate C

This is a photo of it Obelixx. Can't get into the shed at the moment to find the ticket but will let you know when I can.


I look after my bush roses really well & they always reward me with stunning displays. This year I have planted climbers for the first time. Garden centre staff told me to cut them down to ground level. Seems odd to me. Help!
My shrub rose is very spindly. Do I need to prune any differently?
I want to move my roses but the new space won't be ready until Spring. Would they be ok in pots until then?

Pendant, you can prune climbers now or over the next few weeks. Cutting them down to ground level is only done to encourage new shoots for next year. I only do that though to regenerate older climbers. For newly planted ones I let them establish in their first year then in the second I take them down to about 4-6 inches.

Khenman shrub roses can be cut back now by half. Then prune back quite hard in spring.

Jacqui if they are already in pots then yes. If not leave them if you can. If you can't leave them then wait till they're dormant dig them up and heel them in in some spare ground water well prune them hard and then plant in spring or as soon as the new ground is ready.

Hope that helps everyone.



Thank you Dave. They are in the ground, so I'll leave them for now.

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