Jeremy McNaughton of Germiston writes: My ‘Graaff-Reinet’ rose was badly damaged by hail, with broken stems and shredded leaves. Should I cut the rose back or just leave it?
Ludwig replies: The first thing to do after a hailstorm is to cut off any badly damaged and broken upper stems; those with torn leaves are best kept for a while. Wait for a few days to see if the bark on the lower stem splits. If it does, spray with Chronos and Ludwig’s Insect Spray at double strength. The combination of the oil and fungicide prevents the wounds from becoming infected with fungal diseases. You may fertilise two weeks later, when the sprouting of new shoots is evident. When pruning in winter it is possible to assess the damage to the older stems and remove any that have been replaced by new basal shoots after the hail.