Posted: 19/12/2013 at 11:49
It depends on their type. It is usual to reduce tall whippy stems on shrub roses in autumn to reduce the likelihood of wind rock loosening the roots and damaging the plant. Autumn is also the time to tie in and tidy up new long stems on climbers and rablers and remove any that are broken or growing in the wrong direction and can't be tied in.
Shrub roses are then pruned back in late Feb or March depending on how harsh a winter we're having. Do not prune when it's freezing or a frost is expected as this can damage new cuts. Take out all broken, twiggy or dead stems back to the base. When you can see the structure more clearly you then cut the remaining stems back to an outward facing bud and remove any stems that cross each other to leave an open goblet shape.
Give the plants a good dollop of slow release general purpose food such as pelleted chicken manure or blood, fish and bone and a liquid tonic or rose or tomato food.