Planting and pruning roses can seem like a daunting task - how much to prune, which soil to plant in, there are so many questions. It's important to plant your roses correctly to get them off to the best possible start. Then, when they are more mature and well-established, it is essential to give them a good prune. New season's roses start coming into store around mid-May and they are ready to plant straight into your garden.
Make sure that you've got a really good spade and a bag of Rose and Shrub mix which has all of the nutrients in it to get your rose off to a really good start. Choose a sunny spot to plant your rose in and plant any time from Winter through to Spring. Start by digging a hole, then take the rose gently out of the pot. You might find that the soil falls away, that's ok. Spread the roots out a little bit as you place the rose into the hole. Now fill the hole with the Rose and Shrub Mix, it has a 6 month fertiliser and also a wetting agent, which will help to hold moisture during the hot, summer months. Once the hole is filled, tramp down well to stop the plant rocking around in the wind. We want to avoid the wind getting in there and drying out the roots. Be sure not to plant above the graft. Water your rose well, but only when needed during the winter months. Roses are gross feeders, so feed them at least three times during the season (September to February). If you're short on space, you can always plant a rose in a pot, just remember to keep it well fed and well watered during those hot summer days.
For Pruning, you will need a sharp pair of clean secateurs and a clean pair of gloves. The object of pruning, is to open the plant up and create good natural airflow. Start your pruning by cutting off any dead or damaged limbs, remove any branches that are thinner than a pencil or are crossing over. You want to try and remove all of the spindly growth and any dead wood that you can see. Make sure you are cutting your bud back at a 45 degree angle, that way the water will be able to run off the stem. Don't be afraid to prune your rose, you are more likely to kill it through lack of pruning than over pruning. Your main pruning time should be done once a year in winter, although you can do a light summer prune through the season to encourage the nice new growth to come back.