i have some spindly roses in my front garden - some black spot this year. I would like to have them less spindly next year and will of course need to treat the black spot. When would be a good time to prune them? Should they be cut right down? Many thanks
Don't worry about the black spot. This is very common at this time of year. To avoid it returning, make sure you promptly remove any dead leaves lying around the base. Do not let them sit around your soil areas over the winter time. In the winter or early spring time, always lay a new layer of compost or manure.
You can cut down the stems now or in early spring. If your shrubs are large, and you live in a very exposed area, you can cut some stems shorter to avoid them being blown about, but generally, it's fine to prune the stems down in early spring time. Prune them down to around a feet from the ground. Remove any weak or diseased looking stems. They should grow back fine.
Many thanks for this and such a fast answer. Is there any way to have grow bushier? Presumably when black spot is gone that will help?
When you prune (probably in late February) cut to an outward facing bud.
It seems counter-intuitive, but cut the shorter stems harder back than the longer ones.
There's a gardening truth 'growth follows the knife' , so the harder back you cut the more it will grow.
Cut the shorter stems back hard and the longer stems not so hard and they will even up.
Then give them a feed of Fish Blood and Bone and mulch with well rotted farmyard manure (don't let it touch the stems) and hopefully that will perk them up.
Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.