Posted: 24/05/2016 at 02:49
This Spring, I didn't manage to prune my new roses which were planted in tubs last year and year before last. Only this last fortnight have I managed to get into the garden and they are all leggy - thinner than a pencil, bar one which I've transplanted into a bed - dark red leaved thick-stemmed 'National Trust' red rose.
I thought it was too late this year to prune them down and have summer blooming, so I only pruned about 6" off the top as some already had buds. They were sold as 'climbers' but the same roses are often described as 'bush'. I have lazily decided they can be left as 'climbers' and I've bent the stems horizontally as far as the stems could be arched down. I replaced the top couple of inches with fresh compost, gave a good granular rose feed and watered in and then mulched with a few inches of horse manure. They look happy enough - just long thin stemmed. I had hoped the stems I arched over horizontally and tied in might produce some vertical shoots - but at this late stage perhaps that's wishful thinking! One, in a bed, had grown so spindly tall but has lots of buds - that I've just 'plunked' (!) an obelisk over it and tied the stems in and thought I'd prune them all as normal next year - just to save the buds on then already this year.
I assumed May was too late to prune them down to two thirds - and thought that as they are so young to my garden that I ought not to prune them at all this year anyway.
I'm not sure whether to leave them as I have them now or whether to just prune them all down now. I don't want to lose the early blooms on the repeat bloomers.
I always thought I would be a bit of a risk with roses! But they are so very lovely when they bloom - which is how you get drawn in!!!