Now is a great time to prune or renovate climbing roses. One question that I am often asked is how far apart to space my wires to support my climbing rose?

My rule of thumb is to position the first wire 45cm from the ground and subsequent wires 30cm apart.

Once your support is in place the first job is to cut out the dead, diseased and dying branches. Tie in any new shoots to fill in the gaps and prune any side shoots that have flowered last year to four buds or a third of they're length.

Left: before pruning

Above: pruning completed


If the rose is becoming heavily congested cut out the old branches from the base to promote fresh new growth. 

Once the weather starts to warm up then feed your freshly pruned rose with some rose fertilizer and mulch to a depth of 5cm with either garden compost or well rotted farmyard manure.

For more advice on pruning climbing roses, please follow the links below:




Jobs for the month ahead

1. Prepare vegetable seed beds, and sow some vegetables under cover such as broad beans.

Chitting potatoes2. Chit potato tubers, this is letting them start to sprout shoots in a cool dry, frost free place. I use old egg boxes for easy storage in the potting shed.

3. Protect the blossom on apricots, nectarines and peaches.

4. Net fruit and vegetable crops to keep the birds off.

5. Prune winter flowering shrubs that have finished flowering.

6. Divide bulbs such as snowdrops and those that need planting while ‘in the green’.




7. Prune wisteria and figs

-It is essential to prune wisteria which aids flowering in the month of February, prune the side shoots back to 3 buds from the main framework of the plant. This is also a great time to renovate older plants that may have become overgrown and slightly out of control.

-Figs can also be pruned now in the following manner as long as the weather is not freezing. Cut out any of the branches that are spoiling the shape of the plant, also any that are crossing or have been damaged since last year. Also cut off to ground level any suckers from the base of the plant. If required cut any of the branches that have become too long and bare back to a 5cm stub, this stimulates new growth from the base of the branch.

More information can be found here.

8. Prune hardy evergreen hedges and renovate overgrown deciduous hedges

9. Prune conservatory climbers such as bougainvillea.

10. Cut back deciduous grasses left for structural shape during the winter months. Remove dead grass from evergreen grasses.

11. It's still not too late to prune your climbing roses back for the year ahead, follow the link below to my mini- blog on rose pruning.

12. Also as a task for the week ahead is to sow sweet pea seed.

See my next blog to learn how to renovate old and overgrown roses.


~Happy Gardening~

Leigh, Head Gardener, Overbury Enterprises