After that terrible storm, it was such a pleasure to see the sun rays out again. I hurried into the garden – with my Barbie Gum Boots and a mug of coffee – and took note of what needed my urgent attention over the weekend. I just recovered from a bout of flu, so I had to select my garden task wisely! So my important task was to prune the rose bushes. We are now in mid-winter so it is time! I usually ask the plants for forgiveness before I start cutting anything off them. So with pruning secateurs I started removing all those thorny branches. I always knew I had to prune them back hard, but never had any formal training nor the confidence. I did, however, follow the instructions from the DVD series from The Gardener Magazine and I felt more confident and knowledgeable this time. Ludwig, from Ludwig’s Roses, was the guest speaker on the DVD series and a huge big AHA moment came to me when I saw how he pruned the roses – from the light prune to a hard prune. This time I wanted to prune – HARD!
This is where the decision-making dilemma starts. The BIG question is – What branches are superfluous?
1. Hard pruning means we decide that about 75% of the upper branches are superfluous from a 2m tall rose bush, and we select 3 to 4 basal stems. cut them down to 50cm and remove all the other inside growth.
2. Medium hard pruning entails removal 50% superfluous wood by selecting 4 to 5 basal stems or branches cutting them down to about 70 cm and leaving some of shortened side stems.
3. With light pruning one removes about 30% of the wood.