The South West London Gardener

How To Look After Your Rose Garden In Autumn

Rose Garden

If you want to keep your rose garden healthy and looking good throughout autumn, then deadheading any wilting or dying roses is the best thing to do. 

Dead-heading is good for the rose plant and helps to support new growth. Getting rid of wilting and faded roses regularly throughout the summer and autumn will encourage new flowers to bloom that are strong and keep your rose garden looking fresh and attractive. 

If you can spare the time, it is a good idea to snip off fading flower heads every two or three days at the end of summer going into autumn. Doing so will keep your roses flowering and will get you outdoors enjoying your rose garden throughout the seasons. 

As long as you set yourself a routine of regular deadheading, you should be able to extend your rose growing season throughout autumn right up until the first frosts of winter start to appear. 

Roses providing food for garden birds 

As you keep your rose garden well maintained throughout the autumn, you should think about leaving your rose bushes to form rose hips. These hips will turn an attractive shade of red or orange and provide your rose garden with some gorgeous colour going from the end of autumn and into winter. 

Rose hips will also provide your regular garden birds with a reliable food source once the weather turns cold and food becomes scarce. 

If you grow rambling or climbing roses rather than shrubs or rose bushes, these will finish flowering naturally whether you decide to deadhead them or not. However, they will produce rose hips and will make your fences and trellis look pretty long after all of your summer bedding has died off. 

But it can be a conflicting choice to either leave your climbing roses to develop a spray of flowers that turn into rose hips or to prune them back. Late summer and autumn is the best time of year to cut back rambling and climbing roses to prevent them from running wild and to encourage healthy new growth. 

You should also cut out dead and dying branches of rambling roses and climbers now. This will help to reduce weight and drag on your climbing roses and trellis during the winter, especially extra weight from settled snowfall that can damage trellis and climbing rose supports. 

Having the best of both worlds 

If you are a dedicated rose grower with a mix of rose bushes, shrubs and climbing roses, then why not mix it up a bit so you can have the best of both worlds! 

You could leave your climbing roses to develop rose hips that will give you some late autumn and winter colour and also feed the local birds, but you could also trim off any sprawling side shoots that could mess up your display and draw energy from producing rose hips. 

You can then do a tidy-up when spring comes around and prune back any leftover rose hips and unwanted extra growth. You will need to prune side shoots to leave just two or three buds and then tie them into your trellis to prevent tendrils from being whipped around in high winds and becoming damaged. 

Luckily, rose bushes and shrubs don’t need to be pruned back until early spring. This means that you can keep enjoying some late autumn and winter colour from your rose hips and keep attracting birds into your garden until at least early March. 

Maintaining your garden isn’t easy, so if you’re having trouble, get in touch with the Southwest London Gardener team today. Find our contact details here.