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Renfrewshire, Scotland Sco

Rose Pruning

Not for the first time I am wondering about the correct time to prune my roses. I live in the west of Scotland and traditionally we would prune in the spring. Generally, I top prune my roses to protect them from wind rock in October and prune finally in March.

In past years, I have found significant growth by the time pruning takes place in March and today I noticed that already there is healthy growth starting.

I know there is still a risk of frost, but this seems to be becoming increasingly less likely each year and now wonder if it is time we in this part of the world should start to prune in October also?

Also, what would be the consequences of pruning now since the buds are developing so well?



If you are worried then I would perhaps prune down to 4 buds now and then if you do get frosts then you may on loose the top buds/growth.
I still reduce in November if I remember. Then again March.

13 Jan, 2020


I'd recommend waiting till February. I usually risk doing them sometime from mid February onwards, but only if both the current weather and the predicted weather is not freezing cold. I'm in West London, and even this year, I'm still waiting till February... where you are, despite being to the west, it surely must be colder than here, generally speaking, and February can suddenly become very cold indeed...

13 Jan, 2020


Thanks. It will be colder here than in London. I think that the problem here is that it is wet. This makes the soil constantly moist and when temps are not so low as to frost, then it continues growth. You should see the weeds!

What Seaburngirl suggests may be a kind of contingency measure. I will hold off for a few weeks and check on the growth. If it continues relentlessly, it may be worth cutting down to a few buds.

The problem here is that it can be mild until May - then we get frost!!! It really has been getting so unpredictable.

13 Jan, 2020


The top couple inches of roses here normally suffer 'winter burn' and need to be pruned anyway. I would go to the Farmer's Almanac (or Long Range Weather Forecast for you) and find your last predicted frost date for your area. You should be able to do this online - just plug in your numbers. Of course nothing is guaranteed, but if the farmers rely on it, than that's something to work with. Prune after that date.

13 Jan, 2020


Thanks Bathgate. I'll give it a try but suspect that the last date will be somewhere around the end of April which has been far from accurate in recent years.

13 Jan, 2020


Hi Somhairlie....exactly the same issues here on the Eastern side of Scotland. This year, not sure why, I decided to do my hard prune in the autumn and I'm glad I did because they are all budding up already as you say. I think this is what I will be doing from now on. I have to give my standards a good going over anyway, to stop the winds taking them over. So might as well just get the whole thing over with.

14 Jan, 2020


Cottagekaren, I reduce the height of mine in autumn too because of the winds. But really in future I think I will simply do the hard pruning at that time. I reckon that the way things are now, I am delaying flowering for no good reason.

14 Jan, 2020



15 Jan, 2020


Well 1 year on, and I did prune my roses in autumn. And guess what? We have had the coldest April for decades. The roses looked great and were developed really well. But frosts at night combined with sunny days has damaged the top growth. I'll wait for growth to start accelerating again to see if they need pruned a little.

So annoying as it looked like I had chosen the right option.

15 Apr, 2021

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