It is getting towards the time of year where you need to start thinking about pruning some of your plants for the winter period. Many plants ’shut down’ over the winter period and so cutting of dead flowers and parts of the plant help the plant to survive even the harshest winter. Pruning helps by removing elements of the plant that take a lot of energy to keep alive. Even when a flower dies the plant can spend a lot of energy on the spent flowers, starting to form seeds. Cutting or plucking off the dead flowers helps the plant by removing the need to give energy to that part of the growth, therefore helping to promote growth in the growing times. This is why dead heading is a good practise as it encourages the plant to grow in other area’s once it no longer has to focus on sustaining the dead flower and the whole seed production process.
Roses in particular enjoy a good winter prune. In July or August give your roses a healthy prune. Rose pruning advice varies greatly. I myself like to give them a fairly vigorous cut, removing between 1/3 and 2/3’s of each stem. You can also thin out the rose by cutting off stems that cross each other, giving the rose a better overall shape. In fact pruning time is a great opportunity to shape your plants in the way you’d like them to grow during the next growing season. When pruning always cut stems at a 45 degree angle. This helps the plant to repair itself where you make the cut and encourages more shoots to sprout around the cut area, which is what you are going for. One thing to take into consideration when doing this though is in area’s that you want a particular shape to happen or where you want a stem to grow in a particular direction as a v is likely to be formed where you prune a stem as the new growth sprouts. This may require pruning later on to remove new stems that have grown in places you would prefer they did not grow.
Another important point is some plants are more susceptible than others to a bad prune. As I mentioned before I like to vigorously prune roses. This is mostly because established rose plants tend to be pretty hardy when it comes to vigorous prunes and can come back from seemingly impossible conditions. Australian natives plants on the other hand often require a more delicate prune and certainly prefer to be pruned straight after a flowering season. A simple google search will usually net you good results for whether or not the plant you wish to prune needs a delicate or vigorous pruning or alternatively leave a comment below on this post and I will get back to you.