Ever wonder how many gardeners seem to have a continuous flow of blooms all throughout the growing season? Many of us employ a technique called “deadheading”. No, it does not include riding around in an old VW bus chasing some rock bank around. It is a method is lightly pruning your repeat blooming roses.
Rose varieties that are known to repeat:
- Hybrid Tea
- Repeat blooming Climbers
- Some David Austin English Roses
- Shrub RosesThis technique encourages new growth and loads of new blooms.
Tools you’ll need:
Very sharp pruners
(I have an old pair of felco pruners. I keep them rapier sharp, they make very clean cuts)
(For hauling away your clippings. If you want to go all redneck, like me, you can use a trash can lid.)
Identify a rose that needs to be deadheaded
Identify a 5-leaflet set.
It is from this point down that you want to deadhead. Please note that you will never get a new stem any larger from the one you are cutting from, so you want to deadhead at least at the 5-leafset point to ensure a strong rebloom. I try to move down the stem far enough so I cut at a point where the stem is about the circumference of a #2 pencil.
Make your cut
You want to keep the inside of your rose-bush as open as possible to promote good air circulation, so when you cut do so from an outward facing leaflet. Notice the dot at the joining point of the leaflet and the stem? That is called a bud-eye. It will be the point from which a new stem will grow.
Clean up your mess
Keeping your rose beds free of cuttings and fallen leaves and blooms will help keep disease to a minimum. As mentioned earlier, I use a trash can lid to collect my cuttings. I filled this lid up in about 15 minutes. Once you get the hang of basic deadheading, you can deadhead about 20 rose bushes in 10 minutes or so.
Watch for a new stem to appear
Following this technique really will inrease the number of rose you see during the growing season. Enjoy your new blooms!