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If left unpruned, roses can become a tangled mess. But keeping up a regular regime makes the task quick and easy to complete on a pleasant winter's day.
Choose a dry day with some air movement; avoid rain. Use clean, sharp tools and gardening gloves. When you have finished pruning, pick up all the clippings and leaves but to avoid spreading pests and diseases, don't put them in the compost.
Roses need pruning when they are at their most dormant, which in Dunedin tends to be late July. Take into consideration the microclimate in your garden, though, as frosty locations can mean waiting until mid-August.
Staff at Dunedin Botanic Garden will be running a rose pruning demonstration in conjunction with the Otago Rose Society on Saturday, July 21. This free event will be held in the information centre from 1.30pm-2.30pm. Bookings not required.
We will cover pruning tips and techniques, mainly for modern roses, including a bit on climbers.
Garden Life is produced by Dunedin Botanic Garden. For further information contact Linda Hellyer.