Pruning can be a daunting prospect for the inexperienced, but it’s really not that difficult. Even if you make a mistake, your plants will be forgiving.
Generally, it’s best to prune in mid-winter, when the plant is dormant or at its slowest growth point.
The first thing that you need to do is ensure that you have clean and sharp tools. You may use a pruning knife (suitable for smaller branches and roses), secateurs (suitable for small branches) and a pruning saw (suitable for larger branches/bigger jobs). Make sure that you are wearing a long shirt, and a sturdy pair of garden gloves. (I recommend that you wear glasses to protect your eyes).
- Remove any dead branches, flowers and leaves.
- Remove any canes (branches), which are growing in towards the centre of the plant. (You are aiming for a vase shape – unless you are cutting a topiary).
- Cut back the remaining canes (branches) by up to two-thirds.
- Cut above a knot in the branch.
- Fertilise the plant if it needs it.