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Pruning your roses? Ludwig Taschner gives advice

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Claude Scott of Johannesburg writes: I have a few ‘Arianna’ roses and now I need to prune them. I’ve heard that I must cut them back to an outside eye, and that the angle of the cut should be sloping; is this correct?

Ludwig replies: In the old days, this was done in the belief that it would result in the rose producing outward-growing stems. However, we have found that the rose makes up its own mind and sprouts from what it regards as the strongest eye. Basically, you must cut a tallgrowing rose down to 90cm, a medium rose to 70cm and a low rose, such as ‘Arianna’, to 50cm.

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