Monty Don shares popular plant to ‘prune hard now’ to increase flower production

Gardening: Expert advises on growing climbing plants

One gardening job Monty Don has urged Britons to carry out this month is to prune climbing roses. 

Rose pruning ensures that the plant grows vigorously and flowers well each following year. 

If left, climbing roses can become a tangled mess of branches with very few flowers. 

Although often considered complicated, rose pruning is not difficult if gardeners follow Monty’s rose pruning tips.

The 68-year-old instructed: “Prune climbing roses. Climbing roses flower on shoots grown the same spring so they can be pruned hard now.”

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Before getting into pruning this popular plant, it is important to put on gloves and protective glasses and most climbing roses have vicious thorns.

Gardeners need to start by “removing any damaged or crossing growth or any very old wood” which can be “pruned right back” to the ground. 

The gardening expert claimed that the main stems should be fanned out at an equidistance as horizontally as possible, tying them to wires or a trellis. 

Then all the side shoots growing from these main stems – which produced this year’s flowers – can be reduced to a short stub of a couple of leaves. 

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Monty continued: “The effect should be a tracery of largely horizontal growth with pruned side shoots running along their length. Finally, make sure it is all tied firmly in to avoid winter damage.”

Pruning is the practice of selectively removing plant parts including branches and buds. It can help to manipulate the plant for landscape purposes as well as encourage new growth.

Other benefits of pruning include deterring pest and animal infestation as well as promoting the plant’s natural shape and healthy growth.

It is important that gardeners distinguish between climbing and rambling roses as the latter may not need to be pruned now.

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Monty explained: “Rambling roses on the other hand produce their flowers on shoots grown the previous summer so should only be pruned immediately after flowering.”

Gardening pros at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) claimed that the “easiest way to tell the difference” is to take note of the flowering time. 

They said: “A climbing rose will repeat-flower almost all summer and well into autumn, while a rambling rose usually flowers only once, normally around June.”

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