Shortening a long rose stem

How to look after roses in autumn

Find out how to care for your roses in autumn, with our tips on pruning, planting and preventing disease.

Do it:

Sep, Oct, Nov

Takes just:

two hours

At its best:

Jun, Jul, Aug

Their show might be over, but if you give your roses some care during autumn, they will get safely through the winter, coming back healthy, vigorous and full of flowers next year.

Discover 10 beautiful roses to grow.

The key jobs are tidying up, getting rid of any spent blooms or diseased foliage, and some judicious pruning. Autumn is also a good time to plant a rose.

Discover five ways to grow better roses.

Find out more about autumn rose care, below.

You will need

  • Rose bushes
  • Secateurs

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Snip off any soggy, shrivelled blooms to prevent rot setting in. But just remove the petals from any that are starting to form hips, so you can enjoy their winter display. Discover the best roses for hips.

Pick off and bin any remaining foliage that shows signs of disease, such as black spot, mildew or rust. Also collect any infected leaves that have fallen on to the ground, as these can carry over diseases from one year to the next.

Autumn is a good time to transplant any rose bushes that are in the wrong position. You can also plant new ones, as they'll have time to get established before winter arrives. These are available as container-grown plants, or as bare-root plants from November through to March. Find out how to plant a bare-root rose and watch Monty Don planting roses in autumn.

If you give your roses some care during autumn, they will get safely through the winter, coming back healthy, vigorous and full of flowers next year.

Prune out dead, damaged or crossing stems from shrub roses in autumn. Aim to create an open-centred framework to encourage good air-flow through the plant. Watch our video guide to pruning a shrub rose.

Shorten the stems of tall bush roses to reduce wind-rock during winter gales, as this can loosen and damage the roots. Cut stems just above an outward-facing bud wherever possible.

Thin out the heads of standard roses (shaped like lollipops, on a single tall stem). Their rounded heads can catch the wind and even snap off completely in a severe storm.

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Discover more ideas and inspiration

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