How to look after roses in autumn

Do it:

Sep, Oct, Nov

Takes just:

two hours

At its best:

Jun, Jul, Aug

Give your roses some TLC during autumn to get them safely through the winter and ensure they're healthy, vigorous and full of flowers next year.

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.

Pick off and bin any remaining foliage that shows signs of disease, such as blackspot, 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.

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.

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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