Pruning Roses - cutting for the cold

The rose cut in late autumn is a forward-looking measure. Who allowes himself to see a bit into the future, is enormously in advantage.

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cutting roses in autumn
cutting roses in autumn
cutting roses in autumn
cutting roses in autumn
cutting roses in autumn
cutting roses in autumn
cutting roses in autumn

Now it's time for the rose cut in the fall. Or, more precisely; for the rose cut, when winter comes slowly and the first sub-zero temperatures could freeze the leafs and buds. Roses can bloom even in our latitudes until late in December, when the weather ist still warm enough. Before there is no reason to cut them off, unless the weather is so wet that the leaves rot already on the stem. And that is exactly the reason why roses need to be cutbefore winter, anyway.
But a little note: Big roseproducers say the contrary and claim, that roses should not be cut in the fall. Why? ... because they treat their rose with highly toxic pesticides and do not have any plant deseases, anyway!

The "Autumn cut" only serves to prevent plant diseases over the winter. Because dead plant material is the breeding ground for fungus, rotting and infections. So the shoots are are cut off in time for that they don't produce dead wood and rotten leafs. This rose cut is therefore not quite as important as the spring section. The spring section at roses, by contrast, is a targeted growth incentive, also to lead the growth in the desired shape.

That is why this cut has not to be performed with too much care. The explanation is simple. Don't cut  below the famous five rose eyes ( or even more ) because you will need them in spring.  What a rose eye is, we have already explained in a separate article. Also, that you should cut as high above a rose eye, as the stem is wide.

With these advices, you just have to make sure to cut all Rose shoots in about the same height in order to achieve the juice-balance. Then all dead wood is to be cut, as well as branches that touch each other or grow in the wrong direction (e.g. in the inner). What remains is  possibly a symmetrical and airy bush. At a standard rose this would be only one-third of its original size, let's say about 20-30 centimeters. But the spring section is even more extreme! Of course, the correct Rose cut looks pretty brutal for the layman, but in fact you can not kill a rose with scissors. If there remains only one rose eye at the base, roses will grow lush again !

The ones who want to do something good to the roses in winter, should wrap them up with some pine needles as insulation and as a protection against icy winds. It is also recommended to cover the base of the rose with earth, so that it is somewhat protected from the cold. Our experience says that loose mulch is much better suited as wet soil. Because wet soil can also lead to rotting and insulates less. However, both measures are only necessary if severe frosts have to be expected.

Note to images series 1: Dead wood  in the blurry foreground) is cut out in any case. It is recognizable by the dark color. One of the  touching branches had to be removed, because the contact point is a focus of disease. It only remains what will be cut in spring, even lower.

Picture series 2: This was a larger rose that measured previously over 2 meters. You are cutting slowly down to about one third of the rose, in order to see at all, what really needs to be cut away. Again, dead wood is removed or sawed off mercilessly. This specimen could have  been cut even deeper. But since we didn't know whether any spring section for this customer will take place, we tended to cut a little less, so that at least a magnificent bush will be the outcome. (in the first image you see -because of the rose hips- that the customernever did any  any maintenance cut) .

Last picture : This is about how a properly cut rosary looks like. Unfortunately, you can only get a basic idea, because the roses were not correctly cut since the beginning by the garden owner. This is only our correction, but it also serves as an approximate example for the fall section. A specialist will easily recognize that this is already a photo of the spring cut -  because such reddish rose petals only occure in spring.

Garten trick :
Even when there are still some new buds in the fall, cut them off. If you put them in a vase, they still havethe chance to bloom. Outside, in the cold, they will probably rot on the stem.