Feeding and pruning your roses is the most important task to do if you want lots of flowers, strong growth and more disease resistance. The aim is to produce plants that will flower freely with good blooms and be an attractive shape and size. It is also important to plant your roses to the correct depth. They should be planted so that the base of the stems are 3 inches (7.5cm) BELOW ground level. The graft union should not be above the soil.
The best time to prune is in Spring just as growth starts. Don’t wait until the new shoots are a few inches long as this will waste energy and delay flowering.
Large flowered / Hybrid tea roses can be cut hard back to about 20cm (8”) from the ground. Flowers are produced on new wood so the harder you prune the better the flower. Floribunda (cluster-flowered) roses are pruned less hard. Shorten stems to about 25-30cm(10-12”) from the ground. Shrub roses and once-flowering roses only need a light prune. Take them down by about 1/3 and every so often cut out one or two stems close to the ground to encourage new growth.
Always use clean, sharp secateurs and start by removing dead, diseased and dying wood, and any stems that are crossing over or rubbing. Aim for a nice, open centre and always cut to an outward facing bud.
When you have finished pruning, you will need to mulch your roses with garden compost or well-rotted manure and then feed with a rose fertilizer. After that you should aim to feed monthly throughout the growing season, stopping in Autumn. Container roses need to be fed every 2 weeks and must not be allowed to dry out.
One other important task is to spray your roses regularly against fungal diseases and aphids. There are several different things on the market but I find that RoseClear works well for me.