Monty Don shares ‘by far best approach’ when deadheading roses to prolong flowering

Monty Don shares ‘by far best approach’ when deadheading roses to prolong flowering


Gardeners' World: Monty Don outlines how to prune roses

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Sharing advice in his latest blog post, gardening pro Monty Don has shared top tips on deadheading roses this month. Deadheading is the term used for the removal of flowers from plants when they are fading or dead. It is done to keep plants looking attractive and encourage more blooms, whether in beds and borders, containers or hanging baskets. 

Monty wrote: “June is unequivocally summer yet has the freshness and inner glow of spring. Nothing is jaded. Nothing has yet been taken for granted.

“Nothing has yet been taken for granted. The days are long and light with dawn just after four in the morning and the light remaining until well after 10 at night. 

“The weather is varied – this is England after all – but somehow that does not matter. Even the rainy, grey days are beautiful.”

While there are numerous jobs gardeners need to be getting on with in June, deadheading roses is a must for those who want their roses to flower longer.

This is not just a one-off job, Monty noted that it needs to be done weekly and “effectively”.

He said: “Dead-heading roses is really worth doing at least once a week – and preferably daily – in mid summer. 

“When you dead-head you are effectively pruning and thus stimulating fresh side shoots which will bear new flower buds and therefore extend the flowering season. 

“Dead-heading also stops the plant developing seed and so increases the chance of repeat flowering as seed always takes precedence from the plant’s supplies of nutrients and water.”

The gardening expert also shared a “best approach” when deadheading rose plants.

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Monty said: “Just pulling off the old flower heads will help but by far the best approach is to use a pair of secateurs and to cut back to the first leaf below the spent flower. 

“A new shoot will then grow from this point.”

He explained that some roses flower in autumn rather than the spring and summer period.

Monty said: “Of course some roses, especially the species bushes, have glorious hips in autumn and these will only develop if the flowers are allowed to set seed and fruit.

“So enjoy the flowers as long as they last and then wait for the autumnal display that they will produce from their fruit.”

June is said to be the “best time” to trim box hedges.

For those tackling this job, Monty urged gardeners to “always” use sharp shears or hedge trimmers to avoid making them “turning brown”.

He explained: “Until 10 years ago Box hedges and topiary were almost ubiquitous in British gardens. 

“But the combination of box blight and box moth caterpillar have made one of the stalwarts of the garden look very much under threat and it may be that fewer and fewer of us can successfully grow box [hedges] at all. 

“However if you do then early June is the best time to give it a trim. 

“Always use really sharp shears or hedge trimmer as this will avoid burning and tearing the cut edges which makes them turn brown.”

The gardening guru explained that this gardening job should always be carried out in “dry weather” to avoid “fungus” growing.

He said: “Also always do this job when you know that you are going to have a few days of dry weather as the cut leaves and stems are extra susceptible to the box blight fungus when the wounds are fresh. 

“Dry weather will stop the spores being active and allow time for the wounds to quickly scar over and become less vulnerable.”

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